A Reflection for Palm Sunday…written by Keith Disney
The Palm Sunday story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is one of the few stories that appears in all 4 gospels. The story is substantially the same and fulfils the prophesy of Zechariah “Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey.” (Zch9:9). It was a time of great celebration with people lining the streets. How different from our towns and villages today.
Jesus, the king of Zechariah’s prophesy, was humbly entering Jerusalem on a donkey knowing that before the week was out, He would be thrown to the Roman authorities and crucified, not the political king the Jews longed for.
But for Christians, this is a message of hope, not despair. Jesus knew that the celebrations would end. He could have stayed away, but he knew what He had to do. He would go through dark times, pain and suffering, but by entering Jerusalem, He was doing His Father’s will. It was the ultimate expression of God’s love for us. For all of us, saint and sinner and every shade in-between.
And so, we can take hope on Palm Sunday. We can’t take to the streets just yet, except perhaps to clap for the NHS, but we can have confidence that God is with us. Thousands of us responded to the call to prayer at 7pm 2 weeks ago and lit a candle in our windows. Download Churches Together Candle for Prayer and pray with the confidence that Jesus had as he rode into Jerusalem, confidence that all will be well and we will soon be out celebrating in the streets.
Continue to express your hope, to pray for all who are helping us through this time. Pray especially for
• Those who care for the sick, not just those with Covid-19, that they will have wisdom and stamina and peace of mind as they care for others. Ask God to protect them as they selflessly care for those who are ill.
• For those who are working hard providing logistical support to deliver medicines and PPE to the NHS, for those who keep food coming to the shops and to our homes, to those who are protecting the elderly and vulnerable.
• Those who have been bereaved and have the added stress of not knowing how or when they can say their final good-byes.
• For those who are anxious during these uncertain times. May they find peace in God.
• For those in authority who are making the difficult decisions to control the pandemic, not just in our country, but worldwide.