Monday, April 6, 2009

Palm Sunday

  • Yesterday was Palm Sunday...the prelude to Easter week. I've always enjoyed the church service held on Palm Sunday and looked forward to the Bible's account of Jesus riding into the city on the back of a donkey. Throngs of people lined the streets to bow and wave palm branches as He rode by. I've always liked hearing and singing the special hymns written about that day.
"Hosannas, loud hosannas, the little children sang...." Jesus must have been blessed to hear their praises as He made His way through the city.

Palm Sunday and its history is familiar to me. I learned about it first in Sunday School and heard it repeated throughout my years in church. Often Palm branches were offered as a reminder of the Triumphant Entry and the beginning of the Easter season.

Recently we began attending a new church here in SC. In the adult Sunday School class yesterday, the leader pointed out that it was Palm Sunday, and he asked if anyone could tell the class why the day was significant. Not a soul that he chose to answer could give the account. I was shocked and amazed that these people, many of whom have been in church for their entire lives, could not give an answer! This is the Bible Belt, and I was under the impression that these faithful church-goers would know 'everything' about the Bible, especially those old stories that are so familiar to me. It made me stop and wonder about the other accounts of Jesus' activities.

Do they know how the dove descended on our Lord when He was baptised by John the Baptist?
Do they know that the dove signifies the Holy Spirit coming upon Him? Do they know the stories of the miracles that Christ performed? Do they understand the parables Christ spoke ?
I do know that they know the salvation message and what one must believe to be saved. But, what about the rest of the Word?

In wondering about these people's understanding, I began to realize once more how important it is to study and work and pray for knowledge and understanding. How can we know what is expected of us if we do not truly know Jesus? Oh yes, we might have found salvation through our belief in Jesus' sacrifice, but how can we know how to live, how to love, how to treat others, without the understanding of the attributes of Christ?

It has given me a new zeal for learning and a new desire to be closer still to this Savior who is so gracious to me. I want to know His ways, to learn His precepts, to adjust my thinking and doing so that I might become more like Him. Lord, thank you for this lesson.