Ride On in Majesty - Experiencing Palm Sunday in a time of Crisis
It is Palm Sunday weekend. Across the globe, congregations would process in tomorrow waving palms and possibly singing a version of Ride on, Ride on in Majesty. That won't be happening this year, or at least it shouldn't. However, Palm Sunday serves as the opening of Holy Week. Even though we might not share in the usual procession of the palms, we can set our hearts and minds on the path that leads to Good Friday and finally to Easter. I will be sharing a message tomorrow from Philippians 2, which is a reading for Passion Sunday. But that message must be set in the context of Palm Sunday, which points us toward the cross and finally to Jesus' exaltation.
Matthew 21:1-11 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
21 1-3 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples ahead telling them, “Go into the village in front of you and you will at once find there an ass tethered, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. Should anyone say anything to you, you are to say, ‘The Lord needs them’, and he will send them immediately.”
4-5 All this happened to fulfil the prophet’s saying—‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold your king is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey’.
6-9 So the disciples went off and followed Jesus’ instructions. They brought the ass and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and Jesus took his seat. Then most of the crowd spread their own cloaks on the road, while others cut down branches from the trees and spread them in his path. The crowds who went in front of him and the crowds who followed him all shouted, “God save the Son of David! ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ God save him from on high!”
10-11 And as he entered Jerusalem a shock ran through the whole city. “Who is this?” men cried. “This is Jesus the prophet,” replied the crowd, “the man from Nazareth in Galilee!”
Now, as we being Holy Week, let us share in this Palm Sunday hymn. Perhaps you might sing along with the congregation featured in this version.
Image Attribution: Swanson, John August. Entry into the City, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56544 [retrieved April 4, 2020]. Original source: www.JohnAugustSwanson.com - copyright 1990 by John August Swanson.