Sunday of Holy Week, Palm/Passion Sunday
Today’s readings: Zechariah 9:9-12; 1 Timothy 6:12-16; Matthew 21:12-17
“And the blind and the lame came to Jesus in the temple and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant and they said to Him, ‘Do you hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast brought perfect praise”?’” (Matt 21:14-17).
The daily lectionary doesn’t include the appointed Holy Week texts. It is assumed you will hear the Palm Sunday gospel in worship today. If you are not able to gather with the worshiping community, read the Palm Sunday account for yourself. Our reading for today instead seeks to highlight the different reactions to Jesus. The children in the temple are crying out, “Hosanna to the Son of David”—the same cry which the people of Jerusalem shouted as Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, waving palm branches to welcome Him.
Children see Jesus and know that He is Messiah and Lord—the chief priests and scribes fail to see and know. One would expect the religious leaders who know the prophecies and have been looking for the coming of the Christ would join the children shouting, “Hosanna!”, but isn’t that the way it is in the world?
I appreciated those years in Colorado Springs when our congregation was able to secure a pony, have someone dress up as Jesus and have a Palm Sunday procession outdoors, around the neighborhood. It was a visible witness that often got a few looks—some knowing, some confused by the spectacle. I expected some who saw were joining us in crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” while others might scowl and shout, “You’re tying up traffic-foolish Christians!” Some will approach Holy Week and Easter in the same way. Some will believe and some won’t. Some will walk with Jesus to the Upper Room, Golgotha and the cross, some won’t. Some will run to the tomb, some won’t!
Prayer: Hosanna, hosanna to you, Jesus, Son of David!
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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