Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday; Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem amidst a crowd eagerly awaiting a king with songs of Hosanna! Though his works have preceded him, how formidable is a man on a donkey? Is it perhaps a first century equivalent to flying under the radar? There is no flashy ride with exuberant wheels or designer clothing with pretentious bling. Even today we know that flamboyance is shallow and Jesus arrives with something much deeper within him, something that can’t be seen but felt. True Love. It scares some people away while drawing others closer. Jesus enters the gates of Jerusalem knowing that this moment, however celebrated, is fleeting, nevertheless, True Love propels. As we draw closer, and enter the gates of our own Jerusalem, we don’t always have the luxury of knowing what lies ahead, but what we share deep within is the benefit of God’s True Love and we let True Love propel.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51
Making Straight The Way
Do you still not perceive or understand? Mark 8:11-26 Let’s just say if I had a dollar for every time I thought those words concerning my own children, I might be a little closer to retirement. I tried to refrain from actually speaking the words out loud because I felt it was equivalent to saying “I told you so.” When Jesus warns the disciples to beware the yeast of the Pharisees, they start talking about the bread they left behind! Jesus had just fed 4000 people and before that a group of 5000 people, all with a few loaves and some fish. Bread was not the issue. Though Jesus did have a habit of speaking in parables and the disciples didn’t always understand those either, he really needed them to understand the impact that the teaching of the Pharisees had on the people of Israel. We teach our children that education, knowledge and laws are essentials to making “straight” paths to our goals but our paths are not without infiltration, both purposeful and destructive. We encourage our children to look beyond what they see (or think they see) in order that they may hold to what is true in Christ. Today we know yeast as a microscopic fungus consisting of single oval cells that reproduce by budding, and are capable of converting sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide. In other words we must beware of those things which have both the potential to grow and form something “new” by taking something sweet and pleasing and changing it into something addictive and life threatening. Hear what the Spirit is saying. Although in our journey a straight path is hardly ever straight and without intrusion, it is our heart for God that must remain a direct path.