It's been blowing and raining unceasingly for five days. The seas surge and lunge to the rocky shores. We watch the violence from our windows, the shattering and gathering, the water exhausting itself and we who watch.
This morning, beyond a cliff and the foaming curls I saw him. A man or was it a seal? Among the waves, black, smooth as a rock polished by water, but he did not sink. Each time a wave swallowed him whole, he emerged moments later, at home in the winter water.
Who wants to interrupt their warm dry feet and cozy life in the winter, launching off into frigid furious waters? Not me. Not many of us. But I know, if I asked him, this winter surfer on this island in Alaska why he goes into the teeth of a storm, wearing nothing but a rubber suit, he could not answer. How could he speak of the marvel of that oceanic force, a womb he chooses, and every launch a cyclonic baptism that washes him free?
He would look at me with pity. The life I was missing!!
We miss a lot of living. Most of us prefer our lives just as they are, even when they're miserable. On Palm Sunday and the events that followed, most of them missed the life that was offered. I didn't leap onto a surfboard into the stormy waves, but I've launched out today into that event 2000 years ago, wondering how it could happen. Wondering why so many turned away from that parade. Here is the story I found, from a woman who might have been there. Come with me now . . .
May I speak this woman's story to you as well? Click here:
This day was unlike any other. There were so many people there---- but it wasn’t that. And it wasn’t even the procession, the parade. There have been parades----marches and trails of stumbling, lisping, broken, drooling people rolled, pushed, carried, slung hoisted to him. Yeshua. No one would dare to believe in healing----except it was happening. To EVERYONE!! Even the sorriest, lost-est sinners among them . .. .
You should have seen them. Everyone now-----new born! Legs straightened and muscles strung right. Women who were mute----now they are singing and spinning with gladness! And crippled men are running and racing and like deer!
So—yes, we’ve been watching these parades for many months now. But this time was different. Everyone ran to pull down branches from the trees. Palms, those fronds---do you know what that means? We have almost forgot ourselves what they mean and how it feels to wave them up high: Victory! Triumph! When was he last time we were the victors of anything? And we all took off our cloaks, our outer robes---and just laid them at his feet and at the feet of the donkey he was riding. We knew what we were doing! Because ------finally we all saw it! Yeshua. He was the king!! He was the one we’ve been waiting for since . ….. since we were a people.
And the singing! Everyone was happy!! We are not ----we have not been a happy people, but this day!! " Ho—sanna! Ho-sanna!" children were singing and old men, the young mothers----everyone!! Cheering laughing shouting!! "Ho---sanna----O Save us!! O Save us!!"
Finally----a king to lead us!! To lead our people. We will be a nation again—not servants and slaves to the Romans …And we said---we turned to one another, all my friends, my neighbors, my cousins, we were all standing and shouting together, and we said, “We will follow him anywhere!!” That’s what we said . ..
But we didn’t . ..
because we didn’t know what was going to happen that next day
Nobody knew what was going to happen next. But I saw it. I saw how those same people---not all of them, but some of them---my neighbors, my cousins----they were there a week later. They were shouting again. Just Shouting this time—not singing, and not waving palm branches-----"O our glorious king"—but waving their fists and yelling
How did this happen? From O Save Us Our King!! Our King!! To CRUCIFY Him, blasphemer!
HOW? But maybe I know.
They wanted a king, a MAN king who acted like a god.
They didn’t want a king who WAS God.
They didn’t really want God.
I wonder how many of us really do want God to enter our world and rupture our lives . . .
But here is what I know now: that day of singing and celebration and triumph was true. And real, more real and more true than anybody every knew:
"Ho-sanna!! Praise to the King! O Save us!!" we shouted.
And then very quietly,
through lashes and spikes
May your Palm Sunday be full of Gladness and Salvation.