Zechariah 9:9-12; Psalms 24, 29; 1 Timothy 6:12-16;
As a young girl, I looked forward to Palm Sunday. On this day, the palms were blessed and distributed, and we were allowed to participate in the procession, waving our palms and singing “All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King.” It was all quite grand and seemed an appropriate tribute befitting of a king. It was a time of expectation as well as possibility. In today’s readings, against the backdrop of his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, however, we see Jesus weeping and sounding a warning to the people of Israel to “clean up their act.” Jesus weeps as he enters Jerusalem, and his actions in the temple clearly show us not only his frustration but his love for his people, knowing that their failure to choose repentance and peace over disobedience will lead to their ultimate destruction. God does indeed weep when we choose to not recognize “the things that make for peace.” Jesus calls for the people of Israel to recognize his sovereignty and his authority to bring about peace through obedience to his law of love, but they choose not to see. All too frequently, the things that bring about peace remain hidden from us when we choose not to recognize the authority of Jesus in our lives. The consequences are evident in our world today. War, starvation, destruction, and oppression are reminders of our failure to respond to Jesus’ call for peace. However, if we follow Jesus’ command to love one another, and if we recognize and act on those things that bring about peace, we can take part in restoring hope in the power of God to bring about wholeness and peace to our world. This begins with repentance and forgiveness. It continues with sharing our resources and welcoming the lonely, sick, and outcast into our communities and homes; and it ends with a new understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus and live a holy life. Let Jesus not weep for us today because we did not recognize the things that make for peace.