[From the keyboard of Editor/Sister/Dogsitter Cat]
Today is Palm Sunday. Hopefully, you get to experience the pageantry of the children’s department parading around the church waving palm branches and singing their Easter best while proud parents and grandparents beam from their front row seats. [Small aside: No one ever wants to sit in those seats when it’s just the regular worship team; however, when it is children’s choir Sunday those things go faster than seats on the 50-yard line at the university in my backyard.]
Before the pageantry begins, before the hustle and bustle – it’s quiet at my house. All the creatures are still asleep, both two-legged and four-legged. Even my guest dog is snoring. In the quiet, I thought I would read ahead, the familiar words we will read as a congregation today. Luke 19.28ff – you may know it by heart or you may have never read it. If you want, take a moment and read it. It’s okay, we’ll wait on you.
Jesus has been on this steady march towards Jerusalem for some time. Mark records it as, “He set His face towards Jerusalem.” It’s all about to heat up and throw down. [If this is your first Easter, I will not spoil the ending. Promise me that you will hang around for the whole story. It will get good, bad, and heart-breakingly horrible before it becomes gloriously amazing. It will change your life – don’t give up on the story!]
As I read the familiar words, two phrases jump off the page: “The Lord needs it.” and “They found it, just as He told them.” In my over-active imagination, I can see the Lord laying out His instructions to the disciples, while they stand there with befuddled expressions. “So, we are just going to borrow someone’s future livelihood because You said?” Yep. I see them shrugging and doing as He directed, maybe mumbling to themselves as they trek off. And then I see them astounded. Because they found it, just as Jesus has told them it would be. What He said, was. What He needed, was.
How many times do I shrug and mumble when the Lord gives me a directive? How many times do I ignore the preparations He is making on my behalf? How many times do I become timid in asking those around me to participate in what God Himself is planning?
Where I might see inconveniencing someone and hindering their future in a random way, the Lord sees the very vehicle that He is going to use to fulfill prophecy. Where I might see an impossible string of coincidences that just won’t work, the Lord stands outside of my timeline and knows what I can’t even begin to imagine. Where I see myself being rejected for my outlandish requests, the Lord knows what the answer is going to be.
Jesus came in the fullness of time. Jesus set His face towards Jerusalem when the time was right. In the grand scheme of bringing the fullness and Jerusalem together to change the world’s eternity, God paid attention to a little jenny that nobody remembered and gave her a foal. Because the Lord would need it and the disciples needed to find it just like He said it would be.
Oh, my friends, what in the world am I thinking when I don’t think the Lord has a plan for my life? When I don’t think that He can do what His word says He can do? When I wonder if He is really, truly strong and mighty to save? When I read His words, His very directive to me, then shrug and trek off – full of doubts that those words apply to me or my life situation. Why in the world do I wonder and doubt? Because right there, written down for the entire world to read: “Go … because the Lord needs it.”
And they found it just as He had told them they would.