“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38 NIV
In 2002, after the New England Patriots won the Superbowl, Boston held a rolling rally. A few of us from work took an early lunch to attend. We stood packed shoulder to shoulder in the freezing early-February wind, the happy crowd abuzz with the anticipation of catching a glimpse of our hometown heroes. The cheers grew down the block as the duck boats drew nearer. Then they were in front of us, and we shouted hurrahs and called out names. A few minutes later, they passed, and the happy crowd dispersed. It was over.
The Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem must have felt something like that. The same joy and excitement as the much-anticipated king approached. As the hosannas of the crowd around them grew, they craned their necks to catch the first glimpse of the Messiah. Then he's there in front of them mounted on a donkey, and they shout, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Then he passed, and they dispersed.
In Kyle Idleman's book Not a Fan, he talks about the difference between fans and followers. That day in Boston and much earlier in Jerusalem, there were many fans. People were standing in packed throngs waving their banners and shouting their praise. But fans are just that they often aren't faithful followers; they quickly lose their enthusiasm at the first sign of hard times, as it happened for many days following that Palm Sunday – from fans to not fans and haters. But Jesus is not looking for fans but committed followers, those willing to go the distance. Leaning into his love in every situation in those times we win and those times we feel we are losing.
God, thank you for sending your one and only Son while we were yet sinners. He came to offer us deliverance from sin and reconciliation with you. We confess that we have sometimes been fans and not the followers you deserve and desire/ Forgive us those times, and help us as we strive to become true disciples. We pray this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Our Bible study beginning on May 3rd will be on the book, Not a Fan. I welcome you to join us for the Zoom study on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm. Please get in touch with me if you are interested.