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Lent's Parade- Midweek Musing 3/20/2024

Please know that I understand Lent is not over yet but for me Palm Sunday is Lent’s big parade because the event we witness is the epitome of a Lenten celebration. This celebration is both joyous and somber, serious and celebratory. It’s unlike the Roman parade occurring across town, full of glitter and excess, promoting power and prestige. This Lenten parade’s focus is on the simple yet most important parts of life - God who has come as a savior, a diverse community built on authentic relationships, and a shared hope that life can be different.

As the weeks of Lent progress, we have journeyed on an intentional path of reflection, repentance, and renewed devotion knowing the cross awaits. The somberness of this season reminds us that we are mere sojourners in this world, fully reliant on God's grace. This reminder makes the joy of Easter morning even more jubilant.

The disciplines of prayer, fasting, and giving turn our hearts away from the distractions of this life and toward the One who gave His life for us. We are reminded that we belong to God and that despite all of our shortcomings, we are redeemed by Jesus and the sacrifice made on the cross.

As Paul writes, "For you were bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

As we strip away the excesses that so often preoccupy us, or add new spiritual disciplines and practices, we find our true joy and purpose in the simple things - our loved ones, our faith community, and the hope of new life in Christ.

Then Palm Sunday arrives, and we raise our voices in jubilant praise, waving branches of palm to welcome our King. This celebration reminds us that though the road is difficult, our Savior has conquered sin and death. Jesus is the one in whom all our hopes are anchored.

The parade that greets Jesus is a beautiful picture of the diverse community of believers. The crowd is made up of people from all walks of life - rich and poor, young and old, privileged and outcast. Yet on this day, they are united as one body, one voice crying out "Hosanna!" to the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

It is a poignant reminder of our calling to love God and love others, breaking down the divisions and prejudices and hates and phobias that so often fracture our world. As the poet Maya Angelou wrote, "We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color."

Palm Sunday is one of the culminating events of the Lenten journey, a glimpse of the joy that lies ahead in the resurrection of our Lord. It strengthens us to persevere in hope, to love one another fervently, and to fix our eyes on the one who has made a way for us to truly live.

May we celebrate this good news that in life and in death we indeed belong to God.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Alleluia Amen.





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