Today is Palm Sunday which marks the upswing of an important see-saw-like week of the Christian faith where we grieve over Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross and then rejoice over his triumphant resurrection. When I was younger and attended church, I always liked Palm Sunday because the entire congregation of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Kelso, Washington waived palms in the air as we walked around the block surrounding our church shouting exciting things like ‘Hosanna!’ Meanwhile, I secretly wished that I had a donkey that I could ride around on.
The truth of the matter is that Christianity is no less controversial today than it was 2,012 years ago when Jesus rode into Jerusalem. People who sought to share the truth of the gospel and the life of Jesus a couple of millenniums ago were at odds with the obnoxious, moralistic, and politicized just as we are today. In light of this, I can be discouraged at what appears to be insurmountable circumstances or I can rejoice in the faithfulness of God as he fulfills His perfect promise to His imperfect people as demonstrated by the growth of the Christian faith.
One thing I will not do though is forget the mind-bending truth that Jesus came to earth and to Jerusalem and to the cross and then back to life to have a deep, raw, and intimate relationship with me. Despite the fact that I often live life against the backdrop of an angry, hurting world, I am thankful that I can insert my name into verses 14 – 16 of Psalm 91. You can too. Why not give it a try?
“Because Jessica holds fast to me in love, I will deliver her;
I will protect Jessica, because she knows my name.
When Jessica calls to me, I will answer her;
I will be with Jessica in trouble;
I will rescue her and honor her.
With long life I will satisfy Jessica
and show her my salvation.”
(Psalm 91:14-16 ESV)