The people were absolutely amazed at Jesus. “He has done everything well.”
Last Sunday was the most joyous Palm Sunday celebration I have known, and most everything went wrong.
We drove to church early because there was so much to get ready. After unloading the van I discovered it wouldn’t start. Wayne and I surveyed the situation and tried to think of something insightful, but neither of us were great mechanics. Soon, the reinforcements arrived and I excused myself to go inside and prepare for the service.
My wife was handing out large palm branches to all the kids. At the beginning of the worship service, they would walk in from the back of the church – waving palm branches and singing a song that Mary Ann composed for the occasion.
As soon as the palm branches were handed out, my ten-year-old daughter and her friend, Kyoti, sensing the importance of setting a good example for the little beaners, immediately started thrashing each other with their palms.
The Palm Branch Incident of 2011 was brought to a premature conclusion, and when order was restored, my wife used the moment to clarify palm branch protocol.
“Now,” my wife asked the kids, “what are your palm branches to be used for? Do we use them to whack each other and bother the person sitting in front of you?”
The littlest ones shouted in unison, “YES!!!”
Palm Sunday was turning out to be far more exciting than they had imagined.
Outside, Robert brought a donkey and a colt, the foal of a donkey, for the kids.
I went down to the basement, late, for Bible study. So late, in fact, that we decided to rehearse the hymns instead. But, so many adults were poking their heads out the window to watch the kids with the donkeys, that we no longer had a quorum of attentive hearts.
We called it a day for the Bible study (in which we never opened a Bible) and I rushed upstairs to go over the service and my sermon one last time. But soon, the kids thundered in and the little ones spotted me in the office. They knew you weren’t supposed to hit people with palm branches, but recalling no rule against holding branches over someone’s head, they did just that. The office was crammed with giggly little girls trying to hide me under a palm branch canopy, and if I wasn’t having so much fun, I would’ve added this to the list of things you shouldn’t do with your palm branch.
One of the musicians left her music at home so the special music was postponed until later while her husband drove home to retrieve it. I wrote the opening hymn in the wrong key and had to do a little mental calculating.
I used to think a Sunday would come along in which everything went right. I’m no longer that naïve. But I really don’t care. The thing that matters most is not that we get things perfect, but that we learn to focus on the One who does all things well.
(copyright 2011 Marty Kaarre)