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Thoughts On Palm Sunday

 

By: Carren Marvin

You may or may not celebrate the Lenten season, Palm Sunday, or Easter. I have mixed feelings about American holiday traditions, but the week before Easter seems a welcome opportunity to reflect on a significant day in Christian history.

 

On the day that has become known to us as Palm Sunday, crowds of everyday common people gathered to celebrate Jesus as He came down the streets of Jerusalem. In a humble gesture of adoration and reverence, they laid their own cloaks down in the street, as if rolling out a red carpet for their King to ride upon. Jesus’s donkey stepped all over their garments, probably oblivious to the fanfare as he eyed the green palm leaves that might make a tasty snack.

Today, we seem less inclined to take the very clothes off our back for Jesus. We pray for Him to show up, but when He strides into our world, sometimes we hide the parts of our lives that we don’t want Him to step on. We lay down what costs us little and invite Jesus to use that as He wills, hoping not to catch His tender, penetrating glance at the treasure we’re trying to hide behind our backs. Jesus deserves our very best, most valuable “garments” for His service, but surely He wouldn’t ask us for them, right? After all, He gave them to us for our use and our pleasure, right?

Surrendering our all to Jesus is a requirement of faithful obedience to Christ. I am convicted by how much “stuff” stands between my King and me. To be real, my closet is full of clothes and shoes and purses. My calendar is full of events and commitments. Maybe I’m uncomfortable with surrender because I’ve simply allowed myself to accumulate. Indeed, I’ve been presumptuous enough to claim it all for my use. My time. My money. My health. My wardrobe. My kids.

What would it look like to surrender all in these areas (or others not mentioned)? Honest, sincere prayer will surely show you what the way looks like in your world. It might look like:

turning off the TV or social media so you can study the Bible
giving money away that you had planned to spend on vacation
trading your fitness routine in for quiet prayer walks with your spouse
buying a needy little girl an Easter dress instead of buying yet another dress for yourself
pulling your child off a time-consuming sports team so your family can grow in knowledge of and service to God
giving a few precious hours of each weekend to visit the hurting, the lonely, the sick, the imprisoned

Sometimes I do a heart-check. If everything I’m offering Christ is easy and routine–my Sunday mornings, my weekly offering, my angel tree at Christmas–then that is often a sign that I’m not giving Him my all. Sound backwards? Not really. Think about it. Giving what’s comfortable makes us feel good inside; giving what’s downright my world is often done with a lump in my throat. In my reality, comfort is a red flag. If I’m too comfortable, I might be turning away from God-appointments.

Ironically, the fewer possessions the early followers of Jesus had, the more willing they appeared to give them all to Him. As hardworking, illiterate peasants reached down to reclaim their cast-off clothes, I bet the muddy hoof prints on their best wraps were unnoticed. All they knew was that a royal King had just passed by and had been honored to use their clothes as a makeshift welcome mat.

 

May our hearts be equally covered with the dust from His feet.

 

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