They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
This Sunday, Palm Sunday we will rejoice with the disciples who were with the crowd, celebrating Jesus’ arrival and calling out “Hosanna in the highest!”
Then it all changes! How does a story change so quickly? How do cheering followers become scattered sheep? This is one of the most enigmatic and yet common aspects of human community.
We are not consistent followers.
We are not loyal companions.
We are not dependable disciples.
And yet, God partners with us anyway.
Perhaps God chooses us as partners because of our capacity for extreme movement and our ability to shift quickly—the very traits that allow us to abandon and betray God and one another are the same traits that can lead us to create amazing possibilities with God and one another.
The same distractions and daydreams that can cause us to lose focus and wander aimlessly can also inspire and propel us to leap forward with new energy and enthusiasm.
The same doubts and questions that can lead us to abandon God’s path can also lead us to seek new pathways and possibilities for living into God’s future.
The same fears and insecurities that can lead us to run away and abandon God can also lead us to lean on one another and depend on God to strengthen our journey.
And so, the disciples scatter, abandoning and even denying Jesus.
Yet, those same disciples become the apostles who will build and lead the first communities of believers who become “the church.”
Even at our worst, God is still working in and through us and will continue to do so.
Even when we wander furthest and scatter to the winds, God’s Spirit is present within and around us, ever ready to receive our partnership and to continue on our journeys together.
~Adapted from Mary Scifres Ministries