Friday, April 3, 2015

Order of Events

This past Sunday, our Pastor Emeritus gave his traditional Palm Sunday concert.  He really does have a gift for weaving songs and thoughts together to present a beautiful message, and I found myself paying attention more than I expected.

Perhaps that's because he said something that caught my interest.  Early in the service, listed all the things that happen between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday.  It's quite a busy week! One of those happenings caught be by surprise.  It completely yanked me back from the beginnings of my sermon-time daydreaming. I knew it happened, but for some reason I had forgotten that it happened then.

Right after the triumphal entry is the infamous temple cleansing.  You know, the one where Jesus got really angry at the things he saw going on in the temple and started flipping over tables?

Really?  I thought.  That was the same week? I didn't think my pastor was lying to me, but I wanted confirmation.  So like any good church brat, I grabbed one of the pew Bibles and looked it up. There it was: Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19 all showed the same story.  (John 12 is the outlier because he only talks about the triumphal entry, not the cleansing of the temple.)

And then all of a sudden, the pieces fit together.

One of the biggest lessons I remember from that week is how quickly the winds of social favor can change.  And hearing all the events of that week as one list, it all sort of makes sense.

Because how natural is it to welcome Jesus with cheers, until he starts correcting and cleaning house? Suddenly "Hosanna" isn't the first phrase on the tip of the tongue.  It's "Hey buddy, back off!"

(Of course, Jesus knew exactly what he was doing and where this week was leading.  Perhaps this was just a very strategic first step in setting a lot of things straight.)