Today, and in some of the days ahead, I want to link some of these Glimpses of God blogs with those things which stand out for me in the story of Holy Week. It's because in the person of Jesus Christ I see the way in which God has made themselves known, in the story of this week ahead we see something of the way of God's being and doing in the world.
The ride into Jerusalem which we remember this Palm Sunday is an example of Jesus' alternative way of doing things - the ride that contrasts with the power and glory which Empire loves to display. Instead of a war horse and chariots, Jesus enters riding a young donkey, a foal. And the show of respect which comes spontaneously is sharply contrasted to the required shouting of an Imperial parade.
Jesus, as he will show most clearly when he washes his disciples feet before his last supper with his friends, sets an example, and by his humility shows the strength of God's grace and way of service. In this challenge to the 'way of the world' we see the topsy-turvy way of Divine power - a power made manifest in love.
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.’
Andrew Mulenga - An African Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem