Lenten Devotional 2021: Day 41

Monday, March 29 – Written by Jason Locke

Peace March Luke 19:28-38

The triumphal entry is such an iconic and important moment in the overarching trajectory of the story of God. Each year we mark this humble march with ‘hosannas’ and we wave our palm branches – – imagining ourselves to be members of the multitude of the disciples. And yet I can never enter into the praise of Palm Sunday without simultaneously hearing the charges and chants of the crowd which are to come only days later. What a stark contrast. What an unbelievable twist in the narrative. ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ becomes ‘Crucify him!’ From excitement to devastation; from joy to deep despair.

Perhaps the prophet Zechariah unlocks this narrative twist for us:

He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the warhorse from Jerusalem;
and the battle-bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
(Zechariah 9:10)

Jesus knows that his path to peace is through the valley of the shadow of death; that personal suffering and self-emptying will set the tone for an unshakeable kin-dom of justice, peace and joy. People wanted an empire-slayer but they got a peacemaker who cuts off the chariot and battle-bow by demonstrating greatness through servanthood. Instead of a conqueror who brings the flaming sword, we have a humble servant who dismantles unjust systems and oppression with hospitality and kindness.

This is probably as mind-blowing for us as it was for the first disciples. But we are reminded every Palm Sunday that the path of Jesus is the path of peace; that if we are to be true disciples, we are going to have to take up our own cross, daily, and join the peace march. And in moments when we are tempted to be taken up with the crowds and flex our feeble attempts at power, may we be brought back to our senses by the simple words of this song:

Following the path of one of peace:
we work for healing
we work for peace,
peace for the cosmos we pray.

 Prayer:

Pray as you listen to a beautiful setting of this song: More Voices #149 – Peace for the Children