March 24, 2024

Today’s scripture and reflection

Almighty and Merciful God,

“Let us give thanks unto You, O Lord, for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever!” You have looked upon Your people and answered our prayers —You are our salvation. You have become human to walk among us, to see and hear us, to touch and heal us. On this day, as we remember when Christ entered Jerusalem sitting astride a humble donkey, we join the resounding, joyful acclamation, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”

And yet, how suddenly things can change. Echoing cheers will soon fade into silence. The hour grows late.

O Lord, our Lenten journey is now nearing its end. We are grateful for this time of thoughtful reflection and honest self-examination. As we prepare to enter Holy Week, open our hearts and focus our minds to hear this old, familiar story anew. Sharpen our eyes and ears to listen carefully to Jesus’ parting words to his disciples over a final meal together. Let us ponder their meaning for our lives and our world. By Your Spirit, fortify us to accompany Jesus every step of the way — from Gethsemane to the court of Herod to Golgotha.

Forgive us, O Lord, when our vision of Messiah is not the One we meet. So often, we want clear, decisive responses to our needs — we’re tempted by images of power and notions of judgment perfectly consonant with our own ends and desires. But the One before whom we throw palm branches this day is none other than the One of perfect love. In Christ, we meet the One of hospitality and welcome, the One of nurture and sustenance, the One of transformation and growth, the One of vulnerable and complete self-giving—and the One in whom we find life eternal. O Lord, we meet You.

Guide our steps, we pray, for it is in the precious name of Jesus that we ask it, Amen.

Rev. Darren Hensley