A Palm Sunday Reflection

To the crowd, Palm Sunday, it began so well. It was the moment that held such promise and expectation. It was a time of celebration and hope. A time when people could be assured that at last, the longing that they had was about to be realized. The Messiah that they had anticipated was at last here. He had entered into Jerusalem, and it seemed as though the energy of the crowd, and the anticipation of the drama which had been mounting now for some time, had reached its fever pitch. There was a sense of a possible resolution that was about to occur. And the exclamations of the crowds expressed and embodied in word, attitude, and spirit—as expressed in the singing of Psalm 118—this incredible season of expectation and hope.

But what would actually unfold was so different than what was expected. Throughout the gospels and in Jesus’ life, whenever the disciples and the crowds thought they knew for sure what God was doing, thinking that they knew what Jesus would say and do, it was then that Jesus would regularly surprise them, shock them, offend them, and do the unexpected thing.

What they wanted was for Jesus to come in on a mighty horse, and free them from the evil of Rome, with power and force. Instead, he comes in on a donkey, and in the sacrifice of himself, to free them not from the evil of Rome, but from the evil that resides in the human heart. That creates some turmoil because it comes on his terms, not ours. As it says in Matthew, When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil (Mt. 21:10).

There’s only one thing that Matthew is affirming throughout the entire gospel, and that is that Jesus is the primary authority over everything, even nature itself. And for those who want to live in the kingdom of God, there’s only one affirmation we have to make: Jesus is Lord.

We may want something to happen in our lives, and happen now, or on our time. But to say that Jesus is the authority, that Jesus is king and lord, is to say, “Even if there is some disruption (some turmoil) that needs to take place in my life, God you are the authority, I will lay down my cloak. On your terms, not mine.

This continues to be our intention at Pro Deo. We are currently in the hunt for site acquisition in Carpinteria, which is a process that requires a whole lot of letting go of control, and a whole lot of trusting the Spirit to guide us and to adjust or deny or replace our plans. Please pray for us as we seek a space where we can build Pathways—a very exciting social entrepreneurship program for at-risk youth in Carp which we expect to launch this fall. And join us in seeking to follow the way of the One who enters into the world and each of our lives, not with force, but in humility, confidence, and gentleness.

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A Palm Sunday Reflection

Chris Pritchett

Chris Pritchett was our first CEO of the Pro Deo Foundation. He currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife and three kids. Chris is the Senior Pastor of Mount Olympus Presbyterian Church

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