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March 29 Post

"They took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!" John 12:13

I cherish a newspaper photo of my two young grandsons, leaning out the back windows of the family car toward the Olympic torch about to parade past them. They waved Olympic flags and grew excited as the runners approached, eager to catch their first glimpse of famous athletes.

Nations around the globe will re-enact Jesus’ last ride into Jerusalem, past the Garden of Gethsemane outside the City gates and onward into the city this week. They will lay flowers and blankets in the street before an honored volunteer leads the Jesus parade through villages and towns.

Here at home, we’ll gas up the car, pick up a deli chicken and finish the taxes. Where will the Jesus procession start in our town? What route will Jesus take as he brings God’s kingdom to the seat of earthly power? What will we miss if we skip the parade?

God knows we need a shift in direction. A whole bunch of folks are headed down the wrong road, the wrong way, and now for a long time. We wonder what will turn things around? If we’re curious about this, or discouraged about that, or hopeless about all manner of things, maybe it’s time to stop what we’re doing and come to the parade. Just a glimpse of the Holy One can set us back on the path to life and make all things well.

Two decades after the Olympic parade passed through their mountain town, those grandsons still recall that day when they witnessed the torch of hope and pride flying past them. Super hero athletes continue to stir them to awe and wonder, for the triumph of victory they hope will come.

Come Sunday, as cut branches of palm line the parade route, we pause our plans to consider the One who came through town riding a donkey. A servant’s parade, a king’s welcome, that sojourn of Jesus towards God’s promise for him then and for us now. What are you waiting for? Come and see.

Prayer: God, draw our attention towards the celebration of Jesus’ earthly ministry now at hand. How easily we get distracted by other things and miss the parade. When our best hope comes to town, count us among those who show up to cheer him on, for all he did and for all he will yet do. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you,

Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland

Senior Minister

The Community Church of Vero Beach

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