We recently took a very short weekend road trip to visit friends near Chicago. It was a fun trip – but so fast it felt like we were in the car more than we were with our friends!
With that vast stretch of Iowa still looming between us and home, we made a quick stop for lunch on our return. We ordered mediocre Chinese from a food court. As our meal ended, the mood was gloomy. You could sense the reluctance to get back in this car where we’d spend the next 6 hours!
My husband and I opened our fortune cookies. We read them aloud and laughed together; they were silly and nonsensical and unlikely to be true! These fortunes could in no way apply to our lives.
He then stated confidently, in that clear child-like voice. “We celebrate the good news of Jesus.”
Yet again – beautiful truth when least expected through the words of my child!
Today is Palm Sunday, and we remember the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. At church this morning, we waved palm branches and cried Hosanna! The children sang songs of praise. Today we celebrate with shouts of joy for this Jesus who came to be King!
With the celebratory moments of Palm Sunday behind us, we begin our walk through Holy Week. We remember the pain, the humiliation and the suffering our Lord endured. Yet through grief and darkness, we celebrate good news! For we KNOW the outcome of the events of this week. There is pain, and suffering and doubt; but through the death and resurrection of Jesus, there is life. And nothing can separate us from the love and mercy of our God!
We know this – so now what? A fortune cookie told my 7-year-old that we are “called upon to celebrate good news.” Jesus told us the same thing many years ago:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
On a boring, uneventful day, with no plans for fun in the near future, my son hears there will be good news. How amazingly wonderful that his thoughts immediately turn to Jesus!
Could it always be that simple? When faced with pain, fear and anger, we must remember our call to celebrate the good news of Jesus; we celebrate in our word and actions. Then we experience a love and peace found only in God’s presence. And that sounds like a reason to celebrate!