Top story - April 14th, 2019
Every morning my phone gives me a list of top stories in the news. They vary from the hugely significant to the ridiculously trivial. Today there’s news that the divorce laws will change so that couples will no longer have to make a difficult situation worse by heaping blame onto one another. There’s been an attack on prison officers in London. Someone has stolen a digger and ripped out a cash machine. Parliament has voted against a no deal Brexit. There’s some nonsense about Katie Price’s mansion but I still have the will to live so I’ll pass on that.
Some of those stories will be yesterday’s news by tomorrow. Some might have lasting repercussions. But none of them will be spoken about in 2000 years. And that’s what makes Palm Sunday so strange and remarkable. The news was this: a young man who spoke Aramaic entered a city in a poor part of the Middle East riding on a donkey. He was followed by a crowd of people waving palm branches and acclaiming him to be their king. The Roman authorities were not impressed. And here we are still celebrating it.
The power of that symbolic act to move us has not diminished. Jesus could have ranted and raved about any number of things that needed putting right. There were too many women then being made hopelessly poor by divorce. There were hot-headed ‘Iscariots’ hell-bent on knife-crime. There were lepers being ignored and people being evicted from their homes. But Jesus chose not to pick on a few issues. He chose to go deeper. Instead Jesus simply rode into the city on a donkey. It challenged everyone with a simple message: There is a different way to live. For all of us. And now is the moment!
Hope might yet ride not in the corridors of power, but on the back of a donkey.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Lord, just wanted to say thank you for showing up there is a different way to live. Help us ride beside you. Amen.