6th Sunday of Lent: Palm Sunday

Gospel Lesson: Mark 11:1-11

Key Verse: “If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘Its master needs it, and he will send it back right away.’”

 
Commentary

We do not know who owns the colt the disciples bring to Jesus, nor whether those who question what the disciples are doing are the owners of the colt. But the words, “Its master needs it, and he will send it back right away,” satisfy those who questioned. There are times when the master needs what we have, but we are not always satisfied with the words, “the master needs it, and he will send it back right away.” We set up structures and regulations to ensure that it really is the master who needs it, that those who might benefit from our gifts are worthy of our help, and that what we “lend” will indeed be returned to us. It takes great faith to trust without question, to give without reservation, to be satisfied with the words, “Its master needs it.” Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was intended to send a message. VIPs and conquering heroes enter the city on gallant horses or in chariots, surrounded by regalia. Jesus enters on a borrowed colt, surrounded by common folks shouting hosanna, “Save us, Lord!” Branches pulled from trees substitute for flags and banners, clothes spread on the ground instead of a red carpet. When Jesus asks to borrow what he needs, will we offer it freely? Will we make it possible for a new kind of leader to enter Jerusalem with a different kind of honor as we shout, “Hosanna! Save us, Lord!”?

 
Meditation/Call to Action
  • We have come to celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as a magnificent parade, but in truth, it was more likely an unnoticed entry, surrounded by a rag-tag crowd of supporters. His visit to the temple went unnoticed by the officials. At the end of the day, he returned to Bethany, accompanied by the twelve. Where might we find ourselves on this eventful day? Do we have a place in the story?
  • We celebrate Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, and we plead to be saved, but the rest of the week will be filled with fear, grief, and loss. How might the memory of Jesus’ entry help us during this week that leads to the cross?

 

Prayer

O gracious God,

            who enters the holy city on a borrowed colt,

            surrounded by ordinary people who long to be saved,

let us be among those who celebrate Jesus as we lend what we have,

            that the hope of this day will sustain us through the dark days ahead.

Amen.

 


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