Palm Sunday is this week. We remember the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the crowds waved their palm branches and shouted, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Usually, on this beginning day of Holy Week, our kids with great excitement march through the sanctuary swinging their palm branches and we joyfully sing “Hosanna, Hosanna!!” Well, not everybody.
One year a young unnamed pastor’s kid was not thrilled to participate in the parade of palm branches. He reluctantly dragged his palm branch behind him through the crowd. He didn’t quite exude the excitement of the original day. There was a look of bewilderment on his face as he followed the lineup of kids with a “why-are-the adults-making-me-carry-this-dopey-palm-branch-throughout-the-sanctuary” look on his face while his palm branch followed in tow. Maybe it was too early in the morning to march through anything (I’ve been there). Maybe he didn’t want to be a follower but wanted to lead the parade (I’ve felt that way). Maybe it was just one of those days (we’ve all had them). To all the parents who noticed him shuffling by dragging his branch, it was considered kind of cute as we could all relate to our kids and a time when they had a less-than-thrilled attitude about some activity.
Why remind you of that boy’s Palm Sunday Blues (by the way, the next year he was much more content to wave his palm branch and march through the sanctuary)?
I think a lot of us are kind of like that kid. We shuffle through life with a bewildered stare. We don’t feel like singing or waving our branches. We’d rather be left in a corner somewhere with a “Don’t Bother Me” sign around our neck. Maybe we do what we are required to do but we have little joy and even less enthusiasm for the things of life.
Jesus has more for us than that. In fact, on the night that we call Maundy Thursday, Jesus told his followers gathered in the upper room: Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24 underlining mine). Jesus is the Ultimate Restorer of joy. He calls for us to ask for it and He freely gives it.
If the stuff of life has been robbing you of joy lately, ask in Jesus’ name for his glory to return! In other words, in faith, remind yourself of the Good News that Jesus has come and he will come again! These tough days won’t last forever. So don’t drag your palm branches through life, but lift them high and expectantly and faithfully let your soul rejoice: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”