The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
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.’
“Who is this?” Jesus entered a city in turmoil, stirred up by the passions of the crowds. Many knew of Jesus by reputation, but few had actually seen him. Those who knew him welcomed him with shouts of Hosanna and acts of celebration. On this first Palm Sunday, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee was received as a visiting celebrity. Who could imagine the week that was to come (at least, according to Matthew)?
Our whole world is in turmoil. Our countries, our cities, our towns, our families are experiencing a surreal and uncharted reality. Everything is in chaos; nothing feels completely familiar and normal. We need a visit from the prophet Jesus from Nazareth! It may be very difficult, and it may not feel exactly right, and we may need to force ourselves, but on this day, I encourage us all to celebrate. I encourage us all to shout “Hosanna!” I encourage us all to sing a favorite hymn or pray a favorite prayer or share a favorite Bible passage. I encourage us all to immerse ourselves in the spirit and attitude that welcomes Jesus into our homes, into our hearts, into our lives. Join me in prayer:
Come Lord Jesus, enter into our turmoil and chaos. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and the promise that all will be well. Shift our eyes from the problems we face for this brief instance, that we might gaze on the Christ, riding into our lives in humility and gentleness. Remind us that Christ is here to stay, and that nothing can separate us from his great love and care. Loving God, open our hearts and minds to receive your Son, we pray in faith this day. Amen.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).