Summary: We need Jesus to enter our hearts, our halls of power, and our hospitals
This Palm Sunday will certainly be one of the, if not the, most memorable Palm Sundays in my ministry, my life, and perhaps history. While there are no Palms waving about, nobody trying to remember how to make the crosses out of the Palms, and no loud singing, this may be the most significant Palm Sunday that we ever have. It certainly is the closest to what happened so many years ago, for usually we loudly worship Jesus on this day, almost like what we would do if a King or Queen entered into town, but the reality of the matter is with the enormity of Jerusalem, it was probably was a fairly quiet affair. Imagine a wind ensemble entering Times Square in New York City during rush hour and you have a sense as to what I am getting at. However, this entry into Jerusalem, the entry of our savior king riding on a donkey, is critically significant for us in this time of a devastating pandemic. Let me explain why.
On this day so many years ago, our Lord and Savior entered into a town that desperately needed a Lord and a Savior. Read on and you will see a place dealing with corruption and sickness, you will see a place needing healing from despair, and you will see a place of hopelessness even during this Passover celebration. However into Jerusalem comes Jesus with truth, with healing, with hope, and with authority. So, on this day, in the middle of our stay at home order, I pray, no I ask Jesus to enter into some places like he entered into Jerusalem for these places need his grace and love just like Jerusalem did. One of those places, is in our hearts. I ask Jesus to enter into our hearts for we need his love, his compassion, his presence, and his healing balm to be part of the very molecules which make us up. May our hearts feel him and and may we sing out, “hosanna to the Son of David.” But that is not all. I pray that Jesus will enter into the hospitals and clinics all over the world. I can’t imagine what it is like to physically do battle with this virus, I can’t imagine seeing the suffering and tragedy in these places, and I can’t imagine making decisions like some of the doctors have to make. There is hope for people are being cured but I pray that Jesus will enter into these places as the Great Physician with healing, with rest, and with hope. I thank God for everyone, doctors, nurses, and others who are dealing with this pandemic everyday. I also ask Jesus to enter into the halls of power in our country for our elected officials are dealing with something we have feared or just read about in history books. I pray that Jesus will enter into these halls and provide wisdom for it is wisdom that is needed to discern the correct path in this uncertain time. Jesus, you know where you need to go, I pray you will enter into these places even if it appears on the surface that you are not welcome.
I have always wondered why Britain needs a monarchy. I mean the taxpayers spend millions of pounds per year for the upkeep of palaces, maintaining the Royals, and purchasing new handbags for Her Majesty. Why? Years ago, when I was living there, I asked a friend of mine who said that the monarchy while providing needed revenue for the country also provided stability, a link to something greater, and assurance in tough times like the Second World War. The person said, “sort of like a parent.” These days, we are seeing the circle of people getting the virus grow smaller and smaller. For me, first is was China, then the circle got smaller when it was the US, then Pennsylvania, then our town, and now it is several friends of mine. In these anxiety ridden times, we need our King who rode into Jerusalem. A king who provides stability, a link to something greater, and blessed assurance. A king who provides us what no other king can eternal life and forgiveness. Friends, in history most kings did not come into town on a donkey, but I am thankful that this one did.
Verse 10 struck me. When Jesus came into Jerusalem, the entire town was stirred. Imagine that while there were a ton of things going on in the town like Passover, a revolt against Rome, taxation, and so on and so forth the town was stirred by Jesus. Says a lot about who we worship, right. But here is the thing, here is my concern, here is what is on my heart. Over the past few weeks, what had stirred our town is the Coronavirus. We saw this stirring first over meals at restaurants or around the water cooler at work. Then we saw it in the food store or in the take out line. And now we see it on social media or in a telephone conversation. However, like Jesus stirred Jerusalem, I pray that Jesus will stir our town for it is Jesus and only Jesus who can speak into this miasma of a pandemic. I pray that Jesus and only Jesus will stir the halls of power around the world for it is the wisdom Jesus provides that is needed in this crisis. And I pray that Jesus will stir the halls of a hospital with comfort, with reassurance, and with compassion. As I think about my savior and my king on this day, my mind goes to the hymn we sang All glory, laud, and honor, to thee, Redeemer, King, to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring. Let us on this day make sweet hosannas ring. Amen