Witness the Joyful Entry
By Janné Grover of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
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.” —Luke 19:37–40 NRSV
Palm Sunday is a day of contradictions. The joyful shouts of the crowd are in tension with the Pharisees who wish them silenced. The city that cheers at the entry of a king later cries for his crucifixion. The one who represents heaven’s peace and glory comes as a humble, self-giving servant, riding on a lowly farm animal. The joyful entry into Jerusalem stands against the backdrop of a journey to the cross.
It is not unlike the contradictions in our world today. We proclaim peace amid the ravages of war; and in a world where there is enough and to spare, poverty claims the hope and freedom of countless millions. I consider the contradictions in my own life. All too often my persistent complacency pushes aside my strong need for justice and peace. I become overwhelmed and at times feel helpless in making a difference. It’s easy to imagine myself caught up with the crowd witnessing the joyful entry, even though I know where the road leads.
But that is exactly the point! Even when the weight of what is to come burdens us, it reminds us of the way of suffering love. It leads to the cross, but also leads to resurrection and everlasting life in Christ’s eternal community of oneness and peace. Amid brokenness, injustice, and helplessness, the in-breaking of God’s eternal love claims and redeems.
So today, when the joyful entry contradicts the impending reality, despair does not silence us. As a community of oneness in Christ, we join with all creation shouting, “Hosanna!”
Prayer for Peace
We witness the joyful entry, Lord, which encourages us. We witness the brokenness in the world, and we fill with compassion. We witness of peace and justice, and we are disciples entering mission.
Spiritual Practice: Pursue Peace on Earth
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a. Reflect on how you can “see violence but proclaim peace…feel conflict, yet extend the hand of reconciliation…encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.” What does the peace of Christ mean to you? Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom. What act of justice or peacemaking does God invite you to pursue this day? Dwell on these words of pursuit: see, proclaim, feel, extend, encounter, find.
Today, God, I will face contradictions in hope for a peace-filled future.