When I was a little girl one of the great joys of Thanksgiving morning was watching the Macy's Day Parade. I can remember waking up and immediately running to tune in and watch it with my parents (on one our three tv channels)! I watched the dancing, the crazy balloons, the characters of all sorts! Of course, at the same time there was cooking to be done so we watched and cooked and prepared for the big family celebration to come. But always, always the kitchen action stopped as the parade neared its end for we all had anticipated the main event...Santa Claus! As a little girl it thrilled me to see him arrive for it meant that soon, very soon Christmas was coming. And for a child there was no greater joy.
I've realized that after being in the desert of Lent for 40 days I am ready for a parade! And, it strikes me that we have that opportunity this week. This parade also has a great cast of characters and it too has a main event at its end. Shall we take a peek at this historic parade? We can certainly read the story and pull important facts from it but instead I suggest we find ourselves in it! I know God gave us His word to teach us, certainly. But I also believe that the Word is living which means I am to live inside it. I am to do more than READ the words, I am to find myself WITHIN the words for that is when and where my own transformation will come. And yes, I really want to be transformed to be more like Him.
So, shall we go find ourselves? Want to go to a parade?
As he [Jesus] approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”There is quite a cast of characters here. I know that on any given day I could be anyone one of these people or on really crazy days I may become all of them! Oh my!
Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Luke 19:28-48
But, in THIS week, this holy week with which of these people do I have kinship? Which of these characters do I hope to become in God's transformation of me?
•those who GO...go to the village...you will find a colt...bring it...the Lord needs it
•ShirtOffMyBack...those who give their closest possessions to honor Him
•Expressive...those who sing loudly...Hallelujah!
•Pillars...those who are the most studied and knowledgeable, visible church goers, following a God of rules and truly believing they know best
•StoneAgers...those who cry out from a lowly, dusty place
As I look at this list, I confess to you that it scares me because I can relate to all the cast but am concerned that my life only lives one...as a pillar. I get so stuck in my head, my rules, my way, my understanding that I miss the real event. I miss the Who. For truly, the King rides in at the end of the parade.
Also, I desire to be a Goer but usually stop myself from selling out totally. It scares me to go into situations where I'm uncomfortable. I also desire to be the ShirtOffMyBack but like my own comforts too. What if I give more and then don't have enough for me? The Expressive makes me smile for I love praise music and I love to sing in my car! But when life gets tough the music of Hallelujah fades from my mouth. The Pillars...more often that I care to admit...are me. But my desire, my true, so excited heart's desire is to be a StoneAger! I want to cry out from my little place in the world. I want the dust around me to kick up as I shout and cry out for Him..."even if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
This Holy week parade is a glorious one! Don't miss out! Find yourself in this cast and don't be afraid to really look closely at your life - it's why we were in the desert 40 days. We've got to keep looking for ourselves IN HIM so that He can transform our character! The parade is about to start!