As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen. (Luke 19:36-37)
Those following Jesus on his march into Jerusalem, a center of religious and political power, are lined up behind a man on a colt, ready to move to the heart of the city, the Temple. People along the route are waving tree branches, much like modern football fans waving towels to rally support for their team. Many put down their outer garments on the road, a symbol of allegiance to a king.
I imagine myself as a curious observer attracted by the crowd along the way, shouting and singing praises. There were people from many places here to celebrate the high holy day of Passover. They were wondering with me, "Who is this man?"
It has been only a short time since I was imagining myself as one of the shepherds led to a newborn baby laying in a manger on a bed of straw. I was asking the question, "What child is this?"
I have seen the beginning and the ending of the life of this person dramatized in church services with grand music and inspiring words. I have seen some of the wonderful art and architecture honoring this humble man. And yet, the two questions posed above continue to haunt me and drive me as a Methodist toward a more perfect answer.
Lord, keep me on the path established by your Son, our Savior, Jesus the Christ, so that I may live the life you dream for all your creation. Amen
Sing: Open My Eyes, Ears, Mouth, and Heart on page 454 in The Methodist Hymnal.
Larry Roberts — teacher, student, singer