From Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough
Blessings as we enter Holy Week. May we all open the gates of hearts and let Christ abide in us. Let us continue to hold one another in prayer during this coming week, and always.
I need to study the text of Zechariah because centuries later this is how Jesus is described as he rode into Jerusalem for the last time. We will acknowledge this entry on this coming Sunday, which we call Palm Sunday. The theme of building, destruction, and rebuilding of the temple runs throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, as well as the New Testament. Jesus' life and ministry teaches us that we, too, are a temple for God. The physical body rises and falls, but our souls are an eternal temple. Holy Week helps us remember who we really are.
Jesus' entry into the city is filled with irony. He comes as a hero, but he comes riding, not on a powerful war house or in a glorious chariot, but on a donkey. His entourage consists of ordinary people who make a way for Jesus by laying their cloaks on the donkey and the foal, and on the ground where Jesus rides. I love this image. First of all, I love donkeys. Secondly, I love the reminder that Jesus comes humbly. One wants to linger with this story, because it does not take long for things to start falling apart.
Palm Sunday teaches us caution. If people are cheering us today, that does not mean that they will not be turning away from us tomorrow. Jesus learned this lesson even before this last journey. No where in the Gospel do we read Jesus' encouragement to follow the crowds and listen to the cheers. Jesus was far too focused on God to fall for such trappings.
In our own lives, things also fall apart. If we start from a place of humility that accepts this inevitability, we can find strength for the journey. As we begin to move into Holy Week, let us do so with a humble heart. Yes, Jesus suffered. Yet, the story does not end in the suffering. There is always more. Because there is always God. Let us tend to the temple that is our body, and rejoice in the knowledge that resurrection is real. Therefore, let us enter the gates of life with humility and thanksgiving for the Spirit that carries us ever on.
"The earth is the Lord's and all that it holds,
the world and those who live there.
For God founded it on the seas,
established it over the rivers.
Lift up your heads, o gates;
rise up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may enter."
Psalm 24:1-2, 9
Holy One, we thank you for the gift of the eternal Christ. Help us to tend to the Christ who is within all. Help us to tend the beautiful temple that is this life. Amen
Blessings this Holy Week to you all.
Rev. Sue Ann Yarbrough, Associate Pastor
San Lorenzo Community Church, United Church of Christ