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So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!” John 12:13 NRSV

Three dots, three dashes, and another three dots. You may recognize this as Morse code for the international distress signal for SOS. Before GPS, the ship would also broadcast their longitude and latitude so rescuing ships would know their location. Today's smartphones, however, have an SOS feature to alert primary contacts and summon emergency services with a few simple taps to our exact location.

That first Palm Sunday, as the people waved their palms, they were outwardly broadcasting their need for help. Their shouts of Hosanna were cries to be rescued. (The Hebrew word is h’woshia, which comes from the same root as salvation.) "Save Us! Jesus the Christ!”

God, of course, already knew they needed saving; no SOS was necessary. He knew their sinful situation and where to find them. He came from heaven, taking human form for this express purpose. Nevertheless, there was a disconnect between the salvation Jesus the Messiah brought and what the crowd expected. Christ had come to save souls, not just for those gathered that day but for everyone everywhere.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us. Even before we recognize our distress, your grace goes before us. By accepting your grace, we obtain forgiveness and a glimpse of your heavenly kingdom of equity, justice, and mercy. Guided by the Holy Spirit, help us as we bring about your domain here on earth. In Jesus Christ, our Savior, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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