Summary: Don’t we in the midst of our brokenness sometimes need to have our heads examined?
Sermon for Palm Sunday
April 17, 2011
When living in Jasper Indiana my family and I collected cats. That’s right cats. We lived on three acres surrounded by thousands of acres of farm land. Therefore we encountered quite a few varmints such as snakes and mice. Hence cats. At one time I believe we had eight of the furry creatures. All with names and costing me a fortune in vet bills.
One day a friendly stray showed up, we even name it—Garfield, but the family of eight wanted nothing to do with newly found freeloader, so they chased it up one the giant pecan trees in the back yard, and there believe or not that poor cat stayed for 5 days.
We would go to work and come home—there Garfield sat. We go to church come home—and there meowed our four legged friend. I wasn’t too worried. I figured someday it had to come down. After all have you ever in your life seen a cat skeleton up in a tree?
Well my wife didn’t see it that way. One Saturday morning right before Easter, four years ago, I see Sandy coming out the barn with our extension ladder to get this brain dead kitty out of its new home. I tried convincing my wife this was not a good idea, but you try swaying a cat lover with a mind made up. So I did the next best thing. I became that good husband. After all, I didn’t want her to get hurt.
So up I climbed, 28’ to be exact, and the little critter actually seemed happy to see me. I reach out and grabbed Garfield by the nap of the neck. But not realizing I was trying to save him or her, the now not so friendly stray took a swipe at my face.
I stepped back and suddenly realize there was nothing to step back on, but air, and quickly realized this was going to hurt. It did!
The sad part of the story, or funny part depending how you look at it, is that Lindsey saw me fall from the kitchen and came running. In the process she allowed Nebo our golden Retriever out, and Nebo proceeded to chase Garfield whom I brought down in the fall right back up the tree.
I lay on the ground for more than 45 minutes or so, telling Sandy to just go away, not in those words, because I knew it wasn’t good. Eventually she back up the van into the grass, loaded in me in the back and off to the hospital we headed.
Here’s another sad or funny part of the story, depending how you look at it. Once we got to the Emergency Room, the doctor actually started laughing. I’ve got a left ankle shattered in four places and a broken right leg and my doctor starts laughing—which doesn’t do a whole lot for your ego.
Then the kicker, and the one thing I remember ever so clearly was that he wanted to examine my head. I’ve got two broken legs and this doctor wants to examine my head. I’m not quite certain if he was worried about the distance I fell, or worried about why in the world I would do what I just did. Anyway, on that particular day four years ago I had to have my entire head examined.
Yes a long story about a silly event. But isn’t that the truth about all of us? Don’t we in the midst of our brokenness sometimes need to have our heads examined?
After all, think for a moment about today. We started this morning with a song singing “All glory, laud and honor to your redeemer king, to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.”
Then we hear Scripture exclaiming “Hosanna, in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest.”
Hosanna basically means “Save Us! Save Us! So basically, the crowds where throwing their garments on the road, waving their palm branches and screaming, “Save us! Save us!” Little did they know that is exactly what Jesus was doing.
Then, then if we step back and read what happens over the next few days we find betrayal, denial, abandonment, and crucifixion.
Yes, we come to church. Maybe even study the Bible a little. For the most part claim to believe that Jesus is the Savior. We shout over and over again “Save us, Save us,” And God does—through this holy of holiest weeks—we call it the Passion of Jesus Christ! God’s passionate love for me—for you!
If people only had the slightest idea what happened some two thousand years ago during this week the churches would be packed today, jammed to gills on Maundy Thursday, overflowing on Good Friday, and standing room only at the Easter Vigil. Next Sunday you would have to leave for service one hour early simply because of the traffic, and finding a place to park would be nightmare.