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It used to be purported to be a weekend of party, an different to tag no longer handiest the starting of Holy Week nonetheless also a time to commence planning and dreaming of lifestyles with just a shrimp one.
In its set, on the Saturday forward of Palm Sunday, my wife, Julie, and I cried for hours – mourning and grieving yet yet another miscarriage and a continuation of years of infertility.
It’s been 15 years since that gut-wrenching day. Amid shuttered church buildings and a mounting lack of lifestyles from the coronavirus pandemic, my mind is wandering abet there yet again.
Nut no longer to the hopelessness we felt on that Saturday – nonetheless to the hope that dawned the next day.
Our faith has for all time offered us with solace in sorrow and so it handiest made sense to tug ourselves collectively that subsequent morning and head off to our standard Sunday service in downtown Colorado Springs.
The church that morning used to be festively adorned and filled with smiling worshippers. I seemed spherical and wished I’ll possibly be so delighted. In its set, I take into accout feeling disconnected, worried and out of varieties. It used to be handiest then that I understood what the creator C.S. Lewis as soon as wrote, that “No one ever urged me that trouble felt so savor fright.”
Because the young youth of the church processed up the aisle to launch the service sporting their purple robes and waving palm branches, we sang the words of the broken-down Palm Sunday hymn: “All glory, laud and honor, To thee, Redeemer, King, To whom the lips of youngsters, Made sweet hosannas ring.”
The peep of the original-faced youth and then singing the street about children used to be nearly too mighty for me. Would we ever occupy a child processing up the aisle with a palm department of their hand? After so a protracted time of disappointment, it used to be initiating to seem increasingly no longer going.
As a young boy, Palm Sunday for all time struck me as something of an new outlier of a celebration. To switch from the soberness of Lent to the festiveness of a royal procession – and then so mercurial to the tragedy of Beautiful Friday and then Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection three days later looked so whipsaw.
How can your fortunes swing so with out discover, from triumph to tragedy and then to triumph yet again?
Over time, I’ve grown to gaze that Jesus’ wild week is something of a metaphor for our lives. Within the occasion you’re no longer in trouble right this moment, preserve on – you’re headed for it. But whereas you are in a dire plight, don’t despair – the tide that goes out will for all time come abet in.
God is for all time at work, even within the course of mountainous tragedy savor the coronavirus. And yes, even within the lives of an infertile couple desperately praying for just a shrimp one.
In fact, I’ve come to mediate that it’s when God appears most absent that He’s in general doing His biggest work.
However the very accurate substance of Palm Sunday is never any longer that factual issues can come from go. It’s that God in general makes use of the extinct and powerless to show camouflage merely energy. It’s a reminder that He turns the wisdom and systems of the sphere upside down the entire time.
On that first Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on just a shrimp one donkey – hardly an emblem of energy and may possibly. In that scene, I mediate we’re reminded that each and each of us are fully dependent upon God. He doesn’t elevate out issues savor we supply out issues, which is why we normally don’t ticket what He’s up to, particularly now within the chaos of COVID-19.
Sitting in that church that Sunday morning, lamenting our lot and choking abet tears, my eyes wandered to a note within the bulletin asserting the next week’s Easter Sunday sermon. It used to be to be preached by our pastor, and it used to be to be his final. Retiring after 34 years at the helm of First Presbyterian Church, Dr. John H. Stevens had chosen for his theme a subject that lifted me from my despair: “The Inequity a Day Can Fabricate.”
Palm Sunday’s cry of “Hosanna!” – which implies “God set us!” – used to be a decided plea 2,000 years within the past and an applicable one now in our world’s time of need.
The arriving of Easter is a reminder to preserve up and hang on. One day can construct the entire incompatibility, indeed.
God never answered our prayer, no decrease than within the ability we occupy been praying. Julie has never given initiating to a biological child, nonetheless a week after Easter that yr, we occupy been presented to a young lady who used to be searching to construct an adoption idea for her son, who used to be due that summer season.
Riley within the raze processed with those palm branches – and I won’t ever gaze or voice that tune the identical ability yet again.
Wherever you are this Palm Sunday, don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. We may possibly also merely no longer be in a plight to gaze what God is up to, nonetheless we are going to have the option to quiet mediate He’s working as we voice, “As to rep their praises, Accept the prayers we bring, for you enjoyment of goodness, O factual and gracious King!”