DON'T JUST JOIN THE CROWD TO SING HOSANNA|Palm Sunday |Year B

Yes, you heard me well: don't just join the crowd to sing hosanna rather be the song! I will tell you why I said so. 
Two ladies went on a blind date. When they got to the hotel room where they arranged to meet their clients, they met a shocking surprise. The men came out dressed as occult members with magical wands and calabash filled with burning smoke of incense. With great fear they screamed and called for help shouting: JESUS SAVE ME! JESUS !! JESUS!!! 

When I saw this prank video I asked: before they embarked on their sinful mission was Jesus invited? If that was not a prank, would their emergency prayers work? What have you to say about this? Does this not describe the lives of many Christians today?

Today the Church celebrates Palm Sunday- a day we commemorate Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and like the crowd that graced his entrance, we are invited once again to sing that beautiful song of Hosanna to the Son of David. Will your song be a lip service or a heart service. Certain things will surprise you about Christ's entry into Jerusalem. If you wish to know read slowly...

Mark 11:1-10
When they drew near to Jerusalem to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, and said to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring it. If any one says to you, “Why are you doing this?” say, “The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately”’...And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it. And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed cried out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!’

POINTS FOR REFLECTION

1. The first surprise is that the Lord is in need! God needs an animal- a colt- a creature of His hands. Isn't it surprising God who owns the universe as scripture says in Psalm 24:1 'the Lord's is the earth and its fullness', would go borrowing? This Holy week shall be full of shocking surprises that have a lot of lessons to teach.

2. The Second surprise is the unanimous action of the people and the common song. Why was this song of Hosanna on their lips? Who told them to carry olive and palm branches? Who asked them to lay their garments on the way for him to ride on? 

3. In the first surprise, the animal is described as a colt on which no one has ever sat. Which means that Christ was the first to sit on it. Following Old Testament tradition, animals devoted to sacred use cannot be used for any other purposes (Num 19:2; Dt 21:3; 1Sam 6:7). And so it is understood why Jesus specifically chose that one and not any other. 

This Divine Choice is continued in the second surprise. The action of the people and the meaning of the song of hosanna. Following Jewish custom, the hosanna hymn is a song sung during the celebration of the feast of Sukkot (feast of Tabernacles) and not for the feast of Passover in view. And so it was unusual on that very day Christ entered Jerusalem. For Hosanna, which means 'save now' to be on the lips of the crowd signifies the heralding of Jesus' mission and purpose of entering Jerusalem which is to save us all. Just as God needed the animal at this crucial moment, he needed the voices of the people as well for he says to the Pharisees trying to stop his disciples: 'if they keep quiet the stones will cry out' (Lk 19:37-40).

TASK: Before joining the singing crowd ask yourself: when the Lord needs me will I be available for His use? Like the colt dedicated for only worship, can I live my life only for God alone and not live a double standard life? Like the crowds singing a song of victory, will the praise of God alone be found on my lips? If we don't answer these questions well, we are like the two ladies that went on the blind date.

I pray for you today: May God help you to be available and dedicated to his service now and always. Say from the depths of your heart: Jesus when you need me I shall be available for you.

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