Thursday, March 22, 2018

Devotional for Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday Reflection
by Tama Eller

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
“When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
            humble, and mounted on a donkey,
            and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
            Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’”
Matthew 21:1-9 NRSV

This story is one of my favorites! It is sweet because Jesus is heralded with branches and people’s coats on the ground, that he has a parade given, a welcome and blessing.

Lately, God is working on me to be positive--stop complaining and recounting all the environmental sins--and think on God’s deeds in earth care. This discipline is coming along. It has been tough as our community is undergoing a lot of people growth, widening roads and building.

Early one morning, I was looking outside and could hear silence and then birds and then abruptly, saws. The forests are coming down all around our home, old trees, saplings, shrubs, etc. It is despairing. On that morning, God showed me Psalm 83. Verse 12 speaks about our enemies “who said, ‘Let us take the pastures of God for our own possession.” The psalmist ends with, “Let them know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.” I am encouraged in this praise, as too often I forget who our God is. The next day, God continued in Psalm 84. Verses 6-7 explain how as the people of God go through the valley, they make it a place of springs; “They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.” To keep going as stewards of God’s creation, we must read about, listen to, tell one another, and visit God’s wonderful deeds, not the stark results of the enemy. We must be busy spring-making and singing.

Jesus was praised with “Hosanna!”, which is an expression of joy and hope for salvation through the Messiah. Jesus teaches us through his entry into Jerusalem, to rejoice and cry out to God to be O Most High for us.

Prayer using Psalm 9:1-2 A Psalm of David

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

We pray in the name of the One who came for us. Amen.

One aside, at some point years ago I started drawing a little “praise doodle” in my bible study and prayer notes. It’s a little swirl on a post that is an ink palm of sorts. There is also a beautiful plant here as I write that is bobbing with the typing as if to say, “Thank you, Jesus, for being here for our Lenten devotional and season!”

Tama Eller is a free-lance educator focusing in the stewardship of Godʼs creation. She studied at the University of South Carolina, majoring in political science and minoring in science; and Union-PSCE and Columbia Theological Seminary, focusing in educational ministry and earth care. Tama is enjoying serving on the Steering Committee for Presbyterians for Earth Care.

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