April 2

Matthew 21:1-11

“When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’” vss. 10-11

According to Matthew, Jesus didn’t exactly sneak into Jerusalem when he arrived for the Passover. In fact he did the opposite and staged an eye-catching entry with a palm festooned procession and a crowd of enthusiastic supporters. As a result the whole city exploded with curiosity–everyone wondered who this donkey-riding pilgrim might be–rumors and gossip passed through the crowded streets quickly. And his Galilean followers were proud to spread the good news. This was the hope of Israel, the prophet Jesus from the remote village of Nazareth! It’s exciting to be in the vanguard of a new movement. Enthusiasm abounds and expectations are high! This new idea, this new person, is going to change everything and the benefits will abound. Some of us know that feeling well–it happens regularly in our constantly recycling political process. Every four years we find our new messiah and millions are convinced that this time things are going to change for good, and our lives will be better forever. Of course that’s not how it works. Before long reality sets in and that new messiah is crucified. But we don’t like to think like that. We want to believe, and we don’t want anyone to rain on our parade. Just like the folks in Jerusalem so long ago, we love to celebrate hope–and so we do–and that’s okay!

Thought for the Day: Who gets me excited about the future?

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