Sixth Sunday of Lent- Palm Sunday

& archive, Year C.

Lord Jesus Christ,                   
You see how bent over we are
Under the weight of the world’s ways.
Unburden us
Clear the path within our soul
Lift up our heads to see you
Our hearts to love you
To follow you
To stay with you.

Sixth Sunday in Lent:  Palm Sunday

 Save us, we beseech you, O LORD!
O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.

                                                                                     Psalm 118:25-2

 We are swept along with the people, praising God with joy, and spreading  their cloaks on the road Jesus travels–riding on a colt to Jerusalem. A whole multitude of Jesus’ followers watch and walk alongside, crying out in loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen Jesus do. And calling to Jahweh to rescue them—from poverty and unemployment, from Roman occupation, from  all that troubles and harasses them—through the triumphant rule of Jesus the Messiah.

Save us, we beseech you, O LORD!
O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.

It would seem that Jesus is on the cusp of victory, of being proclaimed Messiah, the coming King. But as he turns the bend toward the city gate, Jesus weeps. Instead of rejoicing, he lifts his voice in lament:

If you, even you, had only recognized on this day
the things that make for peace!
But now they are hidden from your eyes. . . .
because you did not recognize the time of your
visitation from God.        
    Luke 19:41,42,44b

 

God comes among us in Jesus, bringing peace, announcing peace, teaching the things that make for peace – but is not recognized. As John would later reflect, “He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.” (John 1:10,11) Jesus is not recognized or known.  Engulfed in grief, he weeps – not for himself, but for the tragic rejection the people make, and what their choice will bring: loss, alienation, and destruction.

It is not among those in power, who wield power and thus control over the masses. It is not among the wealthy and most renowned that we discover who we are, and how to live. It is as we let go of these expectations and requirements of the world’s system, that we recognize who Jesus is, who God is, and who we are in God’s image. It is in serving and loving in the name of Jesus that we begin to see clearly, to see people for who they really are, and what our needs truly are:  to learn to recognize Jesus for who he is, and why he came – and still comes through the work of the Holy Spirit among us. We learn to live within the gracious rule of God, rather than being driven by the dominating powers of this world’s systems.

 

Reflection:

This week, reflect on your own need for power and control, on where you look for identity and recognition.  Take some time to notice how you depend on what you can produce, or what you can own and have in your possession.

Reflect prayerfully on Philippians 2:5-11, and then listen to Jesus’ invitation to learn to see, to recognize where and who he is among us today.

Dear Lord,
Help me to listen
Free me from being blind to who you are
Release me from captivity to the world’s ways
Help me to listen, to see.

Amen

Palm Sunday

3/18       Monday: Luke 19:28-40
3/19       Tuesday: Luke  19:41-48
3/20       Wednesday: Psalm  118:1-2,19-29
3/21       Thursday: Isaiah 50:4-9a
3/22       Friday: Philippians 2:5-11
3/23       Saturday: Luke 19:28-40
3/24       Sunday: Luke 19:41-48