Transformed: Palm Sunday

 In Pastor Jeff's Blog

As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. – Luke 9:51

As a child, Palm Sunday was a fun celebration. Spring was in the air. The church was full. The songs were joyous. We got to parade around the sanctuary waving palm branches. And we knew that there were chocolate bunnies in our future. What’s not to like?

But Palm Sunday is not a children’s story. It’s not an ancient precursor to the Rose Bowl Parade. It is a story rich with meaning, a story that tells us much about Jesus, God’s agenda for the world, and about ourselves.

If you want to explore some of the depth of the story here’s a link to the 40 Days of Transformation video in which I provide some of the history and meaning of Palm Sunday. I also found this excellent blog which connects Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with Old Testament history, drawing out some of the story’s deeper meaning.

Jesus entered into Jerusalem to be enthroned as the Messianic King. But that didn’t mean regime change by violent power; it was God’s sacrificial love poured out upon the world in a way that dissolved all the things we use to differentiate ourselves from others and the formation of a single humanity that knows itself – and all those around them – as God’s beloved people. [1]

And so, Palm Sunday is a story of transformation in two ways. The world is transformed by God’s sacrificial love, and we are transformed as we follow the way of Jesus, the way of humble, self-giving love. Neither is an easy transformation, but the longer I live the more I see that it is the only way forward for us and for the world.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN


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