This Sunday took us to Palm Sunday. A special day in the church. Jesus riding on the donkey colt. The beginning of Holy Week. Only two years ago I had never heard of Holy Week. I had little experience of the church. Of a life with God in it. I didn’t know anything was missing. I never thought about anything other than just being alive. It never dawned on me to think why. I didn’t know any better.
Last year I found it all somewhat confusing. I struggled with the understanding. I found it a challenge just to be able to follow what was going on. I got the outline of the story. God made the world. We had Adam and Eve. There was Noah and the flood. Something about a guy named Moses who was brought up by a princess. A Joseph, with his technicolour dream coat. Then somehow it went along to Jesus being born. He grew up and then there was all the miracles. The paraplegic man coming through the roof. Feeding all these people with a few fish and loaves. Then people being angry with Jesus. In about here there was the last supper. Possibly he turned water into wine. Somewhere he did. Then he died on the cross, along with two other guys who I didn’t know. Then a few days later he was reborn. People were confused and there was happiness. Then he went to heaven to be with God. Seated at the right hand of the father, I remembered that bit. But mostly, I was confused!
So, this year when we came along the Church calendar I have been paying proper attention. I kind of missed out the Old Testament. It’s all a bit mad. (I’ve only just started reading it. Its proper exciting.) First there was the Christmas story, where all the children have fun and it’s all about Jesus being born. To us, this time, it was more than just Santa. Yeah, the kids looked forward to Santa coming. But they loved the nativity and the lead up to Christmas. Magical to a child.
More recently we read about the raising of Lazarus. Now that’s where I started to think, you know this is all pretty amazing stuff. He wanted to let Lazarus die. Just so he could raise him. He was showing his worth. He is special. He did make miracles!
This Sunday being Palm Sunday, I read it with the children. He rode in on a donkey, which he had specifically asked his disciples to get, and people laid palm leaves and clothes for him to ride along. Alright, a little odd. So, I had a good look and realised that he did this to fulfil a prophesy. To show the people what he is the Messiah, he rode on the colt foal of a donkey. “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” He is the king. This is when he tells his disciples to start shouting. To hail him as the king, the Messiah. The coats and palm leaves laid before him as an act of worship. He was the one who they had been waiting for. He has come.
This is all a pretty amazing story. The more I read, the more I am intrigued. I want to know what happened next. I’ve started a bible study with an amazing woman, a minister, who is just so real I can ask her anything. Exactly what I need. I’m still learning all this. It’s still a bit odd and sometimes totally off the wall. But, if nothing else, I am enjoying the journey.