Today is Palm Sunday, when the kids stomp around the room with branches and shout Hosanna. The day we remember Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and the beginning of Holy Week. We remember that in a week's time Jesus went from the Fan Favorite to being voted off the Island. I think of so many celebrities in our time that have done that. Tiger Woods. PeeWee Herman. Michael Phelps. People often wonder how quickly the tide could change--and I like to remind them of these modern examples.
But in Matthew's gospel, directly after Palm Sunday, comes this story. Not Judas selling out Jesus. This story.....
Jesus and the Money Changers. Turning over the temple tables. The day Jesus got angry. Its a familiar story. If you aren't familiar, or need a refresher, just click the link above. Don't worry! I'll wait. Matthew 21:12-17
What caught your attention? What stuck out to you?
Well, I'll tell you what stuck out to me. I always thought Jesus did what I'd do. Get mad. Righteously indignant, perhaps. Flip over tables and storm out. But that's not what happened! He stuck around. He healed people. His frustration didn't take away from his ministry.
He did it so much that the kids started to praise him more. The adults stood around frustrated and the kids praised.
Which got me right back to Palm Sunday.
Have you noticed how we celebrate Palm Sunday in church. Often, we even sit down during the hymn so we can watch the children praise. We don't carry the Palms, we sit and watch them. Have you ever watched the kids RUN up to children's time with Miss Lin? When was the last time you ran into church (especially when things were GOOD in your life!) Have you watched them as they sing? Jubilant. Excited. Full of Joy.
Or our youth? When they come in as sixth graders, they aren't so sure what it means to worship. And then they watch the high schoolers--the ones who sit on the FRONT ROW of worship so they can praise and sing and lift their hands.
When was the last time you gave your all in praise to God? I'm not suggesting that you have to dance or lift your hands, but when was the last time you used what you had to praise God? Maybe this morning we can take a palm and praise too! Maybe we can get lost in a hymn or a song. Maybe we can go out of our way to tell someone about Jesus or do something kind in His name. Can you be like the little children? Can you praise?
Because of Christ--