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We’re nearing the end of the Lenten Season, the end of our journey with the Lord as we prepare to once again “die to sin and live to Christ” through our experience of worship celebrating Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. In personal reflection, I’ve realize anew that I am on a daily journey with Christ, not only during this holy season, but every day of life.
Sunday is Palm or Passion Sunday in the Christian calendar. As I was preparing the liturgy for next Sunday morning worship at First UMC, Warrenton, GA, I realized that I was in a quandary. My heart said, “preach on watch and pray, on betrayal, on denial” but the church secretary reminded me that the children and youth will process in with rejoicing, with joy, with palms. So the Spirit took me in a different direction… toward joy, toward rejoicing, toward running with joy to the cross. In Mark 11 through 15 we encounter immense contrasts… shouting, dancing, praising people… drowsy, negligent, sleeping disciples. Such contrasts… the entire “pueblo” mobbing the streets for just a glimpse of Messiah on the back of a young donkey… a dark, angry select mob with swords and mallets surrounding Messiah in the blackest of night.
Palms or Swords? which do I choose each day? To lift up his name in praise or brandish my self-righteous sword at his people who he created in his image. Which do I choose? to journey to the cross with him, to die to my self image, my self will, my self aggrandizement? or to flee in shame, shock and fear?
It took the power of the Spirit to change the disciples from fear to courage. It took the power of the Spirit to sustain Messiah in that dreadful, dark journey. It takes the power of the Spirit to sustain me and you on our journey to the cross. May the Spirit of our Messiah lift us up so that we may truly love and praise Him.