It is a tradition at our church on Sunday's for all the children to congregate up at the front of the sanctuary for a mini sermon before they are dismissed to sunday school.
Today was no exception.
But today . . . well today they came down the aisle waving palm leaves and shouting Hosanna and the whole congregation joined in adding their voices and shouting "Hosanna, hosanna in the highest!" I would be lying if I said that I wasn't moved by the display of joyful adoration at the re-inactment of the coming of the Messiah into "Jerusalem". But behind my moist eyes and wet lashes hid a jumbled up mess of conflicting emotions.
I long for the coming of Christ but would I shout with joy at the coming of my savior or would I mock the sacrifice? Do I live what I believe? Or am I all talk and no action? My actions most days would contradict my words. I get impatient with my kids, frustrated with my husband, petty with my siblings and selfish with my time.
Then today I see Jesus, I see him enter triumphant into Jerusalem. I see him accused, put on trial, condemned and crucified.
And I am convicted.
Luke 23:32-46 tells us something about this most shameful of Roman executions. Jesus hung on that cross between two others likewise condemned. He was robbed of his dignity, three times mocked, three times told to save himself.
Hanging from the cross in the midst of suffering Jesus offers grace and salvation, compassion and forgiveness.
I am renewed.
My hope is in the Lord.
Last Sunday after service the gentleman sitting in the pew in front of me was someone whom I had not seen for a while, a long ago acquaintance of mine and my dads. After a polite exchange of the usual small talk he tells me how he is reminded upon seeing me about his visit to see my dad when he was in the hospital. He had gone to pray with him and for him. But instead of him praying for my dad, my dad prayed for him and how that really blessed him, that here was his friend on the edge of eternity praying with sincerity and conviction that God would bless someone else. In the midst of his suffering my dad offered grace and compassion.
We shared a tear and a hug.
Sometimes God gives you an example of what it means to follow Him.
I am touched by his words and my soul is warmed.
My hope is in the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God
while I have my being.