When we came home from vacation, the happiest place on earth, we landed with a thud. Brian since he had spent the majority of our flight from ATL to MSP in the bathroom cursing the turbulence. And likely cursing the wife who had the virus first a few nights back and shared his toothbrush on said vacation.
We landed with a thud, 3 of us recovering from Montezuma’s revenge, El Capitan’s vile threats and El Chapo’s hot bullets of anger. It was Palm Sunday, a day of celebrating Jesus’ entrance to the Holy City. Children rejoiced. People shouted. Jesus said if they hadn’t, even the ROCK would cry out. (Disney could have a field day with that one.)
Yet I sat there, in the church where I have been called to serve, thinking “What am I doing here?” Half of the church emptied when the children rose to grab palms and march around the sanctuary. Hundreds of us looked on and rejoiced with them.
What do they need me for? Look at this place!? It’s doing phenomenal ministry.
But they have a dream for another church. A series of churches that will reach all those enjoying the wonderful weather this weekend but not darkening a door of a church. For all those grieving a loss of faith but don’t know where to turn.
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. As a victorious king. Even though His work was really only half-complete. The people expected Him to come in and kick some royal tail and change their daily reality. They worshiped Him. They longed for Him.
Yet here we are on Friday. Those same folks (let’s be honest, I’d have been one of them) raising their angry fists and calling for His death. Those same folks walked back home that day, ate their bread and put their heads down, glad to be rid of that joker who came in to town on an ass.
Jesus suffered such things that the movies we cringe at only scratch the surface… Blood and fluids and pain and tears and cries. His mother watching. The disciples, some fled, some stayed. Some in shock. Soldiers inflicting the pain. Others in wonder at what was occurring.
It’s a beautiful day today. GORGEOUS. Green everywhere. Kids don’t have school today. We went to DQ and had ice cream. Saw Calista’s art on display in a gallery…
When I put my head down tonight, what will linger from today? From Holy Week? Before I rise on Easter and put on my blue pastel dress and hide the eggs for the kiddos in the neighborhood? Before I sing the triumphant songs? And eat the bacon wrapped pork loin in the roaster?
What am I doing in Mankato? I am here to worship that Jesus who knew all that was about to happen to Him – and HE STILL LET THEM WORSHIP HIM ON PALM SUNDAY. He still washed the feet of those who would betray Him. He still died on the Cross when He knew so many wouldn’t get it. HE STILL DID IT. And He entered into death, knowing full well so many of us would call Him a fool. Or even worse, not give Him a second thought most days.
HE STILL DID IT.
He pursues me even as I sit here in the sanctuary of my new church, surrounded my new co-workers, praying desperately that my kids make new friends and DQ treats help them until they do… He pursues you who read this. And the millions who won’t.
HE STILL DID IT.
And I get to be a pastor who can point others to this Man who is willing to go through crazy stuff for the sake of the many. The least we can do is move a few hours south and try to build one more church to point to this Man.