Reading Mark 11:1-11 (NRSV)
Today’s reading has a descriptive heading: Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
What is triumphant about it? No motorcade clears the road, no uniformed color guard carries a flag, no band plays a theme song to designate that Jesus is anyone special. Instead, people lay their own cloaks on the road, wave branches off trees, and shout “hosanna!” ahead and behind the procession. Instead of riding a military tank or a royal steed, Jesus institutes the first form of bike sharing–or colt sharing–and risks getting thrown off a young horse that has never yet been ridden.
No, this small parade is not, by itself, triumphant. Jesus did not enter the city with armed force or a princely display. Perhaps the triumph comes in the words the people cry:
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Triumph comes when people recognize Jesus by his words and actions as one who comes in God’s name, as an indicator that God’s kingdom is on its way.
Has anyone ever looked at your actions and acknowledged that God’s kingdom must be near? Have people heard your words and hailed you as coming from God? What a triumph that would be!
Let us pray. Merciful God, how blessed is Jesus who came in your name! May we follow his example by showing how near your presence is in all our words and deeds. Amen.