originally posted April 19, 2011
This year, Palm Sunday snuck up on me. And as I thought about Palm Sunday, sitting in church, a surprising image came to mind. Like it was yesterday, I feel the wide-eyed panic of that day. Years ago, sitting in Bible study,my Bible study leader mentioned the need to hold onto things loosely. She spoke of needing to have an open hand in everything so God would not have to wrestle anything from us.
The panic of that morning was raw, immediate–and God-induced. Two images came to mind when she said that. And within a year, both of those things were wrenched from my grasp. He warned me. He longed for me to let them go easily…and I refused.
It was for my health–spiritual, physical, emotional–that He took those things and re-molded them. He knew I held on too tightly. I did not welcome the change, but I knew, even in that panicked moment, that I needed it.
Fast forward to this year, this Palm Sunday. As the image of Jesus being welcomed into Jerusalem wanders through my mind, I wonder how I welcome Him into my life these days. Though there is far less panic than there was so many years ago, I wonder.
Do I lay down my palms in the road for Him? Not branches, but those things to which I hold. Am I willing for my “palms” to be bruised by His tread? Am I willing to lay it down to make way for the King?
“But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, ‘Why are you loosing the colt?’ And they said, ‘The Lord has need of him.'” –Luke 19:33-34
“The Lord has need of ___________.” Is that enough reason for me? Just because Jesus needs it. The owners of the colt on that Palm Sunday of old had no idea why Jesus wanted their colt. And they did not wrestle it back from the Lord’s men. “The Lord has need of him.” Is that enough? Am I open enough to the Lord that all I need is “The Lord has need of it” enough of a reason?
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” –Luke 6:46
I call Him Lord, yet I question Him far too much. It is more than “why are you loosing the colt?” My questions seem far more demanding, far more insistent. Feeling shaky? Maybe your grip is too strong.
The Palm Sunday, make it an open palm Sunday.
photo by Mike Mays