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Saturday, April 9, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | Luke 19:28–40
After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 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, saying,
“Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” (NRSV)
This is the only time Jesus is recorded as riding on an animal. Throughout the rest of his ministry, he walked, as did everybody at that time except generals and emperors. What effect did slowing down have on his work? Walking was just what people did, but it gave them the chance to communicate, connect, and reflect. How might slowing down help our lives, especially as Christians?
For years some Christians have crowed about the possibilities of spreading the gospel through modern media. “Oh, if we only had a radio station, or a TV channel, or a streaming service, then we could reach many more millions with the word of God!” Speed and reach have their advantages, but so does slowing down. An all-night TV marathon might spread the good news, but so does a relaxed conversation on the street.
The entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was a bit of street theater, meant to fulfill prophecy and to wake up the city’s leaders. Frankly, it’s satisfying to contemplate our Savior being treated with the respect he deserves and a welcome contrast to the dark events later in the week. But it was only one morning of a three-year journey conducted at a slow and deliberate pace.
Heavenly Creator, we are forever grateful for the good news of Jesus. Help us spread the word joyfully yet patiently and with rock-like confidence. Amen.
Written by Jim Garner, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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