Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Hosanna to the Son of David.” What would it have been like to be one of the crowd crammed into the streets of Jerusalem seeing this guy everyone is talking about?

I could only answer that question if I had been one of those people with all their hopes, expectations, disappointments, and fears of one who belonged to a subjugated nation.

Who will deliver us from the Romans? Who will restore our nation to its freedom and independence? As Mark tells it, the crowd cried out, “Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!” There it is. The Kingdom. Jesus was a means to an end, not the end itself. Freedom from foreign domination! That’s the headline.

Those expectations were so strong that it prevented people from hearing the real message of Jesus: “The Kingdom of God is among you.”

I might be tempted, at least at some point in my past life, to feel superior to those inhabitants of Jerusalem and all the visitors who misread Je¬sus’ mission and purpose. I know who he is and how unseeing of them not to know.
Experience and age, if not wisdom, has taught me that, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

Those folks were writing the agenda for God. How often do I find myself doing a little bit of the same. I can have a very fixed way of seeing some¬thing or wanting something and I don’t allow any leeway for another approach or maybe puffing something in the ashcan where it belongs.

For sure, Jesus said, “Ask... Seek... Knock...” (Mt. 7:7-8). His encouragement came in the context of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew’s catechism with the basic message of Jesus. (Ch.5-7) Hopefully, common sense tells us that there a difference between looking for a mercenary to beat the heck out of my conqueror, and asking how I can be a “light to the world” and “salt for the earth.”

Were a few already seeing something different about Jesus? How many conquering heroes come into town on “the colt of an ass?”

What was Jesus thinking as he rode through the cheers? Three Sundays ago, we heard John (2:25) say, “But Jesus would not trust himself to them be¬cause he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself under¬stood it well.”

So if Jesus knew us that well, why did he even bother going through what will become his passion and death? He wouldn’t have been the first political/religious problem to wind up on a Roman cross. He knew the possibility, even the probability of rejection in the midst of the cheers; still, he kept on riding...

Either he was nuts, or he was enveloped, imbued, enmeshed in a love that pushed him beyond his visible fate, to the invisible arms of a Father who said, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Lk3:22)
Today, instead of the traditional long palm fronds, once again we purchased the crosses that come from They are made by people in Tanzania. An Anglican church in Olney, Maryland, brought them to many churches throughout the country as a means of supporting all kinds of outreach projects in Africa. Check it out online.

We make these palm crosses signs of our will¬ingness to let Jesus love us, and then use us to do his work. “Hosanna!”

In Him,
sign frjim

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