Palm Sunday and The Red Carpet

We will be celebrating Passover this week. The children will gather at the entrances of the Sanctuary and then on key will begin parading waving Palms as the congregants sing. What a joyous time right?
I was thinking back to a couple of weeks ago at our children’s program on Wednesday. We were discussing Palm Sunday. They took their handprints and made their own palms to wave. One of the questions that was asked of the students was what would you do if a person you really liked showed up here at church. They named a singer that I can’t remember, but all the children named her. They said they would roll out the red carpet, get the media there to take pictures and they would welcome her there. They were excited and went on and on.
As I was thinking about this we often have parades to celebrate all kinds of things. We also have parades to celebrate people. There is often a parade for those who have won the World Series, or the Super Bowl or Olympians. These are folks we look up to and want to recognize. We roll out the red carpet for stars so often now I wonder if it means anything anymore. We have so many awards nights with red carpets. These are spectacular events with all the fanfare, confetti and crowds alike.
Now is a good time to pause and read John 12, “Jesus Enters Jerusalem”.
It wasn’t like that though for Jesus. He didn’t have a red carpet and a limo. He had a donkey and palm branches. There were no media taking his pictures and sharing it with the world. No photos were taken of Him and put on Facebook. The only thing that stood out was the waving of palm branches and the singing of Hosanna. The crowd was large and excited, but sadly many of these same people soon shouted something different a few days later.
The contrast between those who walk the red carpet today and Jesus is something we all need to be reminded of. Those walking the red carpet do not know our names nor do they care to know our names. We are dollar signs to them. We are the ones that go to their movies, buy their music and make them who they are. We are the ones that listen to the gossip about them, we are the ones who make or break them. They don’t mingle with us and they don’t associate with us.
 Christ on the other hand knows us personally. He can tell us more about ourselves than we care to know. He walks with us daily if we allow Him too. He cares what happens to us and He wants us to have a personal relationship with Him; something those who walk the carpet don’t want. They often distance themselves from us while Christ walks among the crowds and responds to each need.
Unfortunately today too many idolize one group and turn our backs on Christ and walk away. We worship people who could care less about us and ignore the one that cares the most about us. For many people today they look to the stars for the definition of love and ignore the one who knows all about love.
Millions of dollars are spent on watching movies, paying athletes salaries, and downloading music while millions of others are going hungry or struggling to pay bills. It’s all in the name of entertainment. It’s supposed to make us feel good, help us forget about life for a while and make us smile.
Christ is not in the entertainment business. Christ is not all about walking the red carpet or fanfare and confetti. Christ is all about wanting to have a personal relationship with us. Christ doesn’t care about our entertainment; He cares about our souls and our spirits.
Christ riding on a donkey is not about one event, but about God living among us and being present with us today. It’s about Him making a triumphant entry into our lives. To Him it’s about changing our lives and  us singing, “Hosanna”. God’s not looking for people who will praise and sing Hosanna one day and condemn the next. He’s looking for people who want a relationship and proclaim Hosanna and mean it. Some laid their coats and shirts on the ground for the donkey to ride on. Christ is looking for people who are willing to lay down their lives for Him.
Christ is not all about performing miracles for us or giving us everything we want and need. Christ is not about being a King and leading a government or being a celebrity, famous athlete or star. He wasn’t there to save a nation or a world. He was there to safe one life at a time. Christ is more about being the King of our lives.
This Sunday we will stand and with loud voices sing, “Hosanna” but after the pomp and circumstance will you still be with Christ or will you be one that joins the crowd and yell, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! We each have a choice to be with Him through the Holy Week or we have the choice to run with the crowd. What will your choice be?
Dear God: Forgive me for those times I have turned from you. Forgive me for those times I have praised you and then in the next breath cursed you. You wanted to make a triumphant entry into my life and I have allowed you to do so. Let me never go along with the crowd and condemn you. Be the King you always wanted to be in my life. Let me honor you as a King should be honored. Thank you for suffering and dying on my behalf. Thank you for taking my sins to the cross. Let me never forget the price you paid so I might be free to live with you someday. As I move into Holy Week prepare my heart and my mind as I remember what you did for me. Amen. 

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