After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near
Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples,
saying, "Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that
has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?'
just say this, 'The Lord needs it.'" So those who were sent departed and found it as he had
told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying
the colt?" They said, "The Lord needs it." Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing
their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks
on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole
multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds
of power that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name
of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!" Some of the Pharisees
in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." He answered,
"I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."
When hope comes riding up, will we know it? Will we see it? Will we celebrate it with songs and dancing and true jubilation?
Somehow those folks knew. Somehow they sensed and saw and jumped into the parade. Maybe they’d heard stories of this Jesus. Maybe they’d witnessed him healing the sick or talking with outcasts. Somehow one person saw it, and then another and another until a parade formed and everyone found themselves in it. Jesus had come. Hope had arrived.
Now generations later on this Palm Sunday we, too yearn for the hope that came riding into Jerusalem on a borrowed colt. We, too long to be reminded of the promise of something new coming to life in our midst. It is reassurance. It is renewal. It is restoration that we call out for as we wait and watch.
How will we know when hope comes? Is it the hope similar to the feeling of -
the sun rising after a long, dark night?
planting seeds in the ground?
opening day of baseball?
the first day of school?
when a child is born?
Centuries ago hope was seen riding into Jerusalem on a colt. As he rode in that joyous procession, Jesus represented so many different things to so many. Some saw him as the One who would overthrow the Roman authorities and restore power to the oppressed. Others saw him as the One who had shared stories of healing and justice. Still others saw an outsider who just might be the One to stir things up a bit. But the stones…well, somehow the story goes that the joy seen bursting from that mid-day parade was so energetic that even the stones shouted out for joy!