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A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Matthew 21: 8-9
a child waving palm fronds

Look at that charming young girl happily waving her palm – she exemplifies the exuberant crowds that met Jesus at Jerusalem’s city limits.

She’s my daughter, Elise – born on Maundy Thursday in 2012 and celebrating her eighth birthday today on Palm Sunday.  She is a child of God.

The crowd that met Jesus at the outskirts of Jerusalem were also children of God. They acknowledged Jesus as a king and spread their cloaks and palm branches on the road to celebrate his arrival. They chanted “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” as he passed on a meager donkey.

By the end of the week, many of these children of God were yelling “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

How did that happen? Didn’t God have any other options? Seriously, anything else?

Holy Week begins with a promise of love and elation, but, I struggle with the journey through this week. The joy, the sorrow, the loss, the forgiveness and the love shown to us through God’s greatest sacrifice – it’s a roller coaster…and unlike Elise, I am not a huge fan of roller coasters.

Enjoy today – Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ jubilant arrival into Jerusalem. Then take a moment to remember that Jesus knew what his sacrifice would be for all of God’s children as he met the roaring crowds, and yet he continued on his path.

Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy week.

Sarah Vernon