Daily prompts to brighten and lift your faith. Follow me from Sunday to Sunday on Instagram for each day’s photo and caption. Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Sunday, palm branches layer the ground before Him, a welcome worthy of a war hero, to honor, to praise, to laud their King. The branches historically symbolize the Spirit winning out over the flesh. The flesh (a term heard in Christian circles) depicts that ugly part of humanity where we push and shove for our desires and ego rather than preemptive love we show preemptive selfishness. What can you lay down today? What is your palm branch? “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 “They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!””
John 12:13 NIV
Fig leaves and prayer.
Monday, on this day Jesus is hungry and there’s a fig tree with leaves, which looks like it might be (even though out of season) a place for food.
Full of leaves only, and Jesus says to it, “may no one ever eat fruit from you again!” He walks toward temple where prayer should be but finds instead a money changing market.
It seems like this is a day where Jesus enters into the disappointment of humanity. He clears the temple and says, “is it not written, my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a robbers’ den.
Today, consider current news headlines in our world April 9, 2017. In Egypt, God’s house turns into terror and bombings unacceptable on any day but tragically on Palm Sunday.
Honestly I haven’t really words for the pain. Habakkuk said it best. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,”
Habakkuk 3:17 NIV
Day 2 Jesus enters into our disappointment our anger at the things that are not right and should not be. However his course is unaltered as he moves forward into our sinful and broken humanity.
This Monday Jesus models for us a clear focus of prayer in the face of disappointment and outrage.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
His authority is challenged. And no one speaks plain. Have you been there, the undercurrent pulls at you? Not one of the men plotting to kill him, says so.
Jesus speaks a parable on vine-growers exposing the undercurrent and aggressive nature of the authorities who are planning to kill him.
It says for the first time after Jesus gave a parable those listening understood. They get that the whole idea of the vineyard was fruitfulness and the vineyard belongs to God. They understand rather than grapes crushed into the earth it will be the blood of the Son, the Son of God. And they know he knows.
The day is young and full. On this day Judas most likely negotiates the betrayal. His ambitions overtake his faithfulness. His will overtakes his choice to follow. Later Christ will give the Olivet discourse. That night he sleeps in Bethany.
The authorities play with words attempting to trap Christ giving reason for his murder. And that is how it is, men looking for reason to wage war, to take life set traps. More than once Jesus on this day says be alert, be aware. The words from the sermon on mount mute to men. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 Beware when war seems the only option. The church today is full of faithful children of God, who like Jesus are offering their lives for God’s vineyard. We are brothers and sisters with Lebanese Christians, Egyptian Christians, Arab Christians, Coptic Christians, Palestinian and Pakistani Christians, and Israeli Christians who offer their lives rather than weapons. Pray to bear the fruit of mercy, the fruit of peace, the fruit of faithfulness. Pray to follow well. Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Day 3 further reading: Matthew 21
Wednesday, a day unspoken about in all the gospels. Scholars suppose he may have spent the day with friends. Possibly the twelve, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Today connect with friends, strengthen the relationships you’ve been given. Make a soup, share a meal, and prepare your home in some way to celebrate the meal by which we all are welcomed. The lamb of God offered for all. Synonyms for the word meek are unresisting, unprotesting, humble, and unassuming. A clear definition is gentle, like a lamb to the slaughter.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:3