Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday 03/20/16


Old Testament: Zechariah 9:9-12, 12:9-11, 13:1, 7-9
Psalms: Psalms 24, 29, 103
New Testament: 1 Timothy 6:12-16
Gospel: Luke 19:41-48
Evening Psalms: 103


“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41)

Years ago, I regularly visited a woman named Anna. She won the Florence Nightingale Award for distinguished service as a nurse on the battlefield in WWII. When I knew her, however, she had been left to die alone in a nursing home that was something less than luxurious.

One day, as I knocked gently and then walked into her room, Anna was lying in bed with her back to me. She was softly singing to herself, “Jesus loves me, this I know/For the Bible tells me so/Little ones to him belong/They are sick but he is strong”. You probably know the actual words to this verse are, “They are weak but he is strong.” I figured Anna’s memory was going.

Then she rolled over and looked right at me (I didn’t even think she knew I was there). With a distinct and mischievous smile on her face, she said, “You probably thought I was confused, didn’t you? That’s because I changed the words. I sing it this way because I’m sick, but I continue to find my strength in Jesus.”

Not long thereafter, Anna died. But she never lost hope or heart, though she had plenty of reasons to lose both, and most people around her did.

In today’s reading from Luke, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. He sees with complete clarity that their not knowing what will bring them peace will also bring them ruin.

And that is still true today. So many people do not know what will bring them peace, and sometimes I am among them. It is then that I remember Anna, the simplicity of her faith in Jesus, and the peace it brought her.

In the midst of all that causes us anxiety, worry, or alarm, I invite you to remember Anna and the great power of simple faith to bring peace wherever it is found. Amen.


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