Rushville Republican

Church

April 11, 2014

Keeping the Faith: Palm Sunday sufferings

(Continued)

Later, when Christianity displaced paganism, the evergreen practice was adapted. The branches were retained, blessed by the church to chase the devil away, and used on Palm Sunday to reflect the mingled and cluttered emotions of the day. For while Palm Sunday is a day of joyous celebration – Christ has come! – it is also a day of suffering, marking the beginning of Jesus’ Passion.

The gospel accounts of the first Palm Sunday capture the contradictions so well. Yes, there were those who cheered as Jesus descended into the city, but there were those who opposed the celebration; cold, wet, storm clouds who wanted to rain on the entire parade. Yes, the disciples were ecstatic as the day they longed for had come, but they were desperately clueless to everything that was happening.

Certainly Jesus felt the conflict. He rode into town enjoying the praises of the people, only to be kicked in the proverbial teeth by the religious leaders. He was welcomed like a hero as the day began, only to end the victory parade in bitter sorrow, weeping for the city that would soon reject him. And he knew that the voices singing “Hosanna” would within the week be eclipsed by louder voices shouting, “Crucify him.”

This is the rule, not the exception. Happiness is accompanied by hardship. With triumph comes trouble. Accomplishment’s companion is usually agony, and rarely is there success, by any definition, without suffering. The examples to this effect are abundant: A woman birthing a child, an athlete training for competition, a student working toward graduation, a single mother raising a child, a Savior riding through Jerusalem to cheers and jeers – Pain is the prerequisite path to joy, and difficulty is victory’s perpetual partner.

For whatever reason God has chosen life to be the way it is, this is the way life is: Pain and joy are life’s constant collaborators, and there seems to be no other way. Embedded within the soaring praise of waving palms, there are the necessary stinging blows of the spruce branches. Simply, the sufferings of our crucifixions are mingled with the glory of our resurrection, and Palm Sundays have a way of being followed by Easters.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author.

Text Only
Church
  • It was a shoofly pie celebration weekend People ask me questions all the time. Some of those questions I can answer, some I cannot answer and some I will not answer. I wish people would ask me questions I could answer and look good about it. However, it never happens.The Gracious Mistress o

    August 22, 2014

  • chu-rv082214-church mouse logo Angel the Church Mouse Hi, all you kind folks in Readership Land,In my “scramin’” about, I came across something I’d seen many moons ago. All of us are guilty of whining, it’s “our nature”, as the saying goes. We don’t mean to be a bore to others-we just whine when we “ott

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • chu-rv082214-new pastor pic Holy Trinity Lutheran Church welcomes new pastor Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod), since Oct. 12, 1935, has been growing in its worship and service and are happy to welcome newly-ordained Pastor Aaron West and his family to Greensburg as the newest members of Holy Tri

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Keeping the Faith': Wise Up When a mother giraffe gives birth, she will do so while standing up. So her calf’s first act is to fall six feet to the ground, crash landing on his face. Then, as if such an arrival wasn’t harsh enough, the youngling’s mother will continually knock

    August 22, 2014

  • Church Briefs First Baptist Church of Rushville“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” I noticed these words on the rear view mirror of the car in which I was riding. Just to see the difference of perspective, I turned my head around to see how far behind

    August 22, 2014

  • Keeping the Faith: 'The Preacher' I grew up with a lot of religious rules. To violate these rules was to subject oneself to the judgment of God. If you had a fundamentalist upbringing, you may be familiar with some of these restrictions. No drinking, no smoking, no dancing, no playin

    August 15, 2014

  • Church Briefs First Baptist Church of RushvilleSometimes it is difficult to know who you can trust. Someone at first sight may seem like a trustworthy person, but when you least expect it, you get blindsided. Even the most trustworthy person may let you down somet

    August 15, 2014

  • Religion briefs Gay SD prep coach will keep job at private schoolDELL RAPIDS, S.D. (AP) - A volleyball coach at a private Catholic school in South Dakota who has publicly announced he’s gay says he’s being allowed to keep his job.Nate Alfson announced he was gay las

    August 15, 2014

  • Two words that changed my life This week is a hallmark in the lives of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and me. Forty-three years ago this week, we began a journey that has just become better with each year. That is the benefit of marrying up.Getting married was not somethin

    August 15, 2014

  • Religion Briefs Aid group: American with Ebola improvingATLANTA (AP) - A second American who came down with Ebola in Liberia is now hospitalized in Atlanta.SIM missionary Nancy Writebol has joined Samaritan’s Purse Dr. Kent Brantly at Emory University Hospital, wher

    August 8, 2014