Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, April 10, Morning – Palm Sunday

By Fran Wheeler

A Royal Welcome

Adapted from Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19 and John 12

It was a day of glory—no doubt about it. Christians love the imagery—palm branches waving, crowds cheering, children running alongside the procession. What a celebration!

But we know the rest of the story.

Jesus was riding into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey. As they followed the road, the disciples began joyfully praising God in loud voices for the miracles they had seen. Many others joined them, spreading their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches to wave. Praises and shouts of joy rang out from the procession—


Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heavens!

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!

Blessed is the king of Israel!

Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!


The disciples were elated. Surely this was the road to coronation—the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams. The Kingdom of God must be very near indeed. But we know this road of glory led first to a crown of thorns.

The darkness was coming.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” Jesus replied, “If they keep quiet, the very stones will cry out.”

The crowds grew larger as others came out from the city. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him.” The darkness grew closer.

In Lent, we recognize that these words and this great parade formed a prelude to the coming darkness that would haunt Passover Week.


The darkness descended.


O Lord, let us praise you on this day of your glory. Throughout the coming darkness let us reflect on your willing sacrifice. Keep us praising you in our own days of personal darkness, and give us grace to remember the glory to come. Amen.

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