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Palm Sunday April 14, 2019 by Angie Fuller

Luke 19:28-41

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it…(Luke 19:41).

My husband’s birthday was halfway through his six-month deployment to Afghanistan. The kids and I wanted to send him something he’d really treasure. Our box contained his favorite homemade turtle cake, baked and sealed in small jars to remain fresh after its ten-day trip, along with a can of frosting and plastic forks. Most importantly, we included a CD entitled, “We Love Daddy from A to Z,” which was a slide show of photos and the kids’ kindergarten-style digital illustrations capturing 26 memories they’d made with him. Their ideas and artwork were precious.

Brimming with eager anticipation, I arrived at the post office to start the box on its 7000-mile journey. The postal worker’s routine question blindsided me: “Does it contain anything hazardous or valuable?” I froze. (Valuable?! It’s… priceless.) The man looked up at me in my hesitation. Through the lump in my throat, I whispered, “No.” Barely breathing, I paid and rushed to my van, where I burst into tears of grief, loneliness, worry, and frustration. In that moment, I heard Jesus gently say, “You’re not alone. I know how you feel.”

When sin entered the world, Jesus’ deployment to join humanity was established. HE was the gift of love sent to us – wisely packaged as an infant. Imagine His helplessness. His ministry was on dusty roads, among the despised, with constant accusations. Imagine His exhaustion. Despite repeatedly explaining His mission and God’s will for creation, His closest friends failed to comprehend these precious teachings. Imagine His frustration. In the tumultuous days before His death, He was betrayed, beaten brutally, and crucified bearing the sin of all of humanity. Imagine His fear, pain, and loneliness.

On this day we call Palm Sunday, Jesus brimmed with anxious anticipation. He knew what the week held for Him and for eternity. He knew He fulfilled prophecy riding a humble donkey the last two miles into Jerusalem. He knew the crowd celebrated with mistaken expectations and would change their cheers to jeers by Friday. He knew all of creation trembled with worship and that if the people grew silent, even rocks would shout praise. Yet He looked with unimaginable love on each person — of every age, gender, race, religion, and status. Such love, that one ordinary glimpse of the city ahead blindsided Him. He burst into tears of grief and frustration over the disbelief of these precious people.

As we carry our ongoing burdens into this heavy week, He knows exactly how we feel. And journeying beyond Easter, His presence and empathy will never fail. What priceless gifts!

Angie Fuller

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