Sunday, April 5, 2020

Hosanna in the Highest!!!

Hosanna in the Highest!!!
I don't know what the crowds were expecting that day.
I don't know what Jesus' disciples were expecting.
Maybe they were hoping that this was the time when Jesus would finally take over and rule the world.
Maybe they thought this was a revolution.
However, one thing that the crowds got right was that they needed saving.
The word Hosanna literally means, "Save us".
It wasn't so much that the crowd was cheering on Jesus.
It was more of a cry of anguish.
A cry from a people that had felt the crushing blow of being an occupied people.
A people who felt that the Romans had treated them unjustly.
A people who knew that life was not fair and good.
A people that experienced the randomness of life.
And a people that needed saving.

I can think of nothing better for us to talk about today than our need to be saved.
We do feel that very strongly now.
We feel that this world wide pandemic is overtaking our lives.
That we are powerless to stop it.
That we are losing so much of ourselves.
We are losing economically and psychologically.
We do need saving.

On Facebook  I saw that someone I went to high school with Father died.
And he couldn't be there with him in that time.
He couldn't be with his sister or brother to properly mourn this death.
I have heard that story a bunch of different times.
And that is the part of the toll of this pandemic.
We are not even able to be together in tragedy.
What are we to do?

In these times when so much is up in the air.
In these times when we have lost so much.
In these times when life is so fragile and uncertain.
What are we to do?

I have actually lived long enough now to have seen some things.
Lots of things actually.
And lots of them not so good.
I have seen war and violence.
I have seen injustice.
I have seen death and destruction.
I have seen inhumanity.
I have seen this latest trial and tribulation.
And the thing is that we do in this time what we always do.
We look to the heavens and pray "Hosanna".
We plead with God to save us.

And then what?
It doesn't seem to be enough right?
Shouldn't there be more.
The thing about Jesus is that there is always more and it is often just lost on us.
Because the crowd is shouting "Hosanna", or "Save us".
What they don't know is the way in which that will actually happen.
They don't know that it will be through death on a cross that Jesus will save them.
They don't know how God will choose to save them.
And then when it happens it is actually not even believable.
Kings don't die on crosses.
Especially if you are the King of the universe.
Especially if you could calm storms with only a word.
Especially if you could cure the lame, make the blind see.
Especially if you could cast our demons.
Especially if you talked to Elijah and Moses.
Especially if you are transformed, and a heavenly voice declares  you the son of God.
But God chose what was foolish in the world to prove God's glory.

And that is where we miss the boat.
We are waiting for the big thing to happen.
We are waiting for the miraculous thing to happen.
And right in front of us God is at work.
In the way we didn't expect.

I know one thing about that first palm Sunday.
They were not practicing physical distancing.
In fact, we know that the streets of Jerusalem were packed with people.
People who were going to the temple for Passover.
People who were doing what they always did that time of year.
People who were comforted by the ritual.
And then Jesus showed up…and things got turned around.
That week became something else entirely.

I know that coming to worship together is a great comfort to many of us.
It provides structure and gives us a way to thank God.
It provides for us so much.
But today as we begin Holy Week I am wondering what is it that God is saying to us spiritually.
This is a different experience for us.
But this morning in the calm of this day, in the beauty of this day, in the wonder of this day, God's grace is here.
God through Jesus Christ has come to save us.
And that is the message of Palm Sunday.
We are being saved, we just can't seem to see it.
We can't see it because it is in front of us and we miss it.
We can't see it because it is under the strange ways of God.
All I can do is accept in faith that God is at work.

To those who are losing someone they can't be with right now know that God is at work.
To those who are suffering because of the Coronavirus know that God is at work.
To those who are afraid, unsure, or just really fed up know that God is at work.
In faith we turn to God in times like these and pray, "Hosanna".
That God might come and save us.

It is not in the big public celebration, but in our hearts that Jesus comes to rein.
It is not with violence and terror that God comes, but on a donkey offering us peace.
This morning take a moment and breath it in.
Do you hear it there in the distance.
Save us.
Today we have much to be saved from.
Today I hope you know that Jesus has come to save you.
That Jesus is saving you.
Today I wish for all of you that peace that surpasses understanding.
The peace that rests in our hearts.
The peace that comes from knowing that even when we can't see it our faith tells us that God is at work.
Peace to you all this morning who are being saved through Jesus Christ!

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