Jesus experienced all our human emotions. As he moves toward Jerusalem for the last time, he teaches through parables; he heals; he calls to Zacchaeus. Then he sends two disciples to find a young colt. They bring it to him. Jesus gets on the colt and begins what we call his “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem.
Hearing this story as a child, I had imagined that people standing along the roadway had been alerted and notified that Jesus was headed their way. I could imagine fliers being distributed, calls made, everyone on board as to what was about to take place. If they stood by the side of the road, if they got there early and found a good place to stand, they would get a glimpse of the parade that was passing by.
But, of course, it is not that way at all. People standing by the side of the road are probably in conversation with family and friends, shopping at the markets, going about their daily chores. And then, perhaps, one person notices Jesus passing by. Is that Jesus? Yes, though they have only heard stories about him and have never really seen him. One person takes notice and tells another. And then another. People begin to look, and energy rises. His followers begin to shout and sing, praising God for what they have seen and heard, giving thanks for God‘s work among them.
Lent calls us to a greater sensitivity, a greater vulnerability, a greater awareness. The “triumphal entry” occurs in the middle of life marked by good memories and not so good ones; in the midst of unlikely conversion experiences; wise investments; neglect, betrayal, and pain. Now is the time to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to the ways that God is trying desperately to enter our lives, our communities, our world—ways we do not expect and that we may not at first recognize. God can surprise us.
Open our eyes, God, so that we can see what in the world you are doing among us. Amen.