(Living Bible translation)
“As they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead, with instructions to go to the next village, and as they entered they were to look for a donkey tied beside the road. It would be a colt, not yet broken for riding.
“Untie him,” Jesus said, “and bring him here. And if anyone asks you what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs him.’”
They found the colt as Jesus said, and sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners demanded an explanation.
“What are you doing?” they asked. “Why are you untying our colt?”
And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs him!” So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw some of their clothing across its back for Jesus to sit on.
Then the crowds spread out their robes along the road ahead of him, and as they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, the whole procession began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles Jesus had done.
“God has given us a King!” they exulted. “Long live the King! Let all heaven rejoice! Glory to God in the highest heavens!”
But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Sir, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
He replied, “If they keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers!”
Palm Sunday makes me smile. The rainbow procession of happy children is interspersed with adults, all waving green branches. The joyous ‘Hosannas!’ were sung with gusto. It’s the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. Zechariah 9:9 says, “…your King is coming! …riding on a donkey’s colt!” All we were missing Sunday, was that donkey!
But Jesus was an organizer. Pastor Rhonda asked if we were, too. So many hands went up! Oh, I was among friends! Details, lists, making things happen, I can identify with that. Jesus knew exactly what to say to his disciples to make this parade happen. I never thought about that special quality of our savior, Jesus. He saw the whole plan, right down to the words to get the donkey. My favorite part of this scripture comes at the very end when Jesus is asked to calm the crowd. Jesus knew his people so well. “If they keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers!” What an apt description of joy!
As Holy Week envelops our souls, and the dark, sadness comes, let us keep that joy and let it burst forth on Easter morning, just like the stones. Preparing for Easter, maybe you are making a special meal, attending a special service, or spending time with special people, cherish the details. God has the ultimate plan for His Son and for us!
Heavenly Father, hear our cheers for your Son, Jesus! Help us to remember the joy we felt on Palm Sunday. The King has come riding on a lowly donkey just like You told us He would! Amen.
Written by Cindy Swanson
Cindy and her husband, Ray, have been members of Sheridan Lutheran Church since 1978. They have 3 sons, Ben, Andrew and Patrick who were confirmed at Sheridan. They enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren (ages 2-7). Cindy retired from teaching writing to middle schoolers for Lincoln Public Schools in 2014. She savors a good cup of coffee, a well-written book, a lively discussion and chocolate. She lives near a cemetery and knows each day is a gift!