Yesterday I posted some thoughts about Palm Sunday on
The Jerusalem Letters
and I told how our family celebrated with thousands others on the streets of Old Jerusalem. Today I wanted to continue the theme and add a few more thoughts.
The first church I worked at (Lake City Community Church) had a Palm Sunday tradition when they gave all of the young kids palm branches, they put them in front of the church, and sang songs like "Hosana in the Highest". Out of all of the children in the church, each year we watched about 20% of them actually sing along with the music, 10% just stood there staring into space, 30% waved continuously at their parents (or random strangers), 10% danced to the music, 5% picked their noses, 5% walked off the stage, 5% would sit down and dissapear in the crowd, 5% cried, and the remaining 10% would happily beat each other with the palm branches. (I am confident that my kids would fall into this last category if given the chance). The point is not what the children were doing as much as the point being that there is something pure about kids worshipping the Messiah. They don't bother with conspiracy theories, political debates over the role of the Messiah, or source critical approaches to the prophetic texts. They simply worship.
This year I had the complete joy of not only participating in this celebration including believers in the Risen Messiah from all over the world, but I had the added joy of watching my family join in as well. At one point we were at the intersection of St Stephen Street which leads into the Old City from Mount of Olives and a Hispanic group was playing guitars and banging drums while singing "catchy" worship songs. I looked over at my 5 year old and saw him standing on a pillar, clapping, and joining in the singing. His smile was priceless and his Savior must have been pleased.
Earlier in the day we were at home and read the account of Jesus' entry into the city and we talked about it as a family. My 8 year old wanted to know how to write the Hebrew wording from Ps 118:26 (which is quoted in Matthew). I wrote it for him and he proceeded to give a fairly good attempt at writing the transliteration (how it sounds in English) underneath the words. I firmly believe that knowing Hebrew assists in appreciating the scriptures but I am not one who thinks it is somehow more "spiritual" but hearing my son say the words in their original language had a special meaning.
Our Messiah has come and He saves! As they worshipped nearly 2000 years ago, may we worship and say, "Blessed is who comes in the Name of the Lord!"
Baruch ha-ba ha shem Adonai!
ברוך הבא השם יהוה, ברכנוכם מבית יהוה׃