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The Crowds

The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting… Matthew 21:9a


Dear Friends in Christ,

What were the crowds shouting? As is often the case, it depends on the day. Some days the crowds shout “Hosanna!” and other days they shout “crucify him!” Not much has changed in 2000 years. In recent years, our passions have overtaken us as the goal and ground of opinions and actions in our culture. We are less concerned with what is true and what is right, and more concerned with how angry the crowd is, or how angry we can feel. Instead of merely listening to the crowd, or listening to our own sense of offense, what if we listened to Jesus? Instead of fearing the crowd, what if we put our trust in our Lord who calls us to what is true and right and good? Building character and relationships that are grounded in God builds not a crowd, but a Christian community—healthy and thriving and life giving for us and for others. Instead of the passions of the crowd, we can embrace the passion of Jesus. We call this Sunday Palm Sunday and the Sunday of the Passion—the Sunday of Jesus’ triumphal entry, and the Sunday of Jesus’ suffering to redeem us. Instead of striking out, Jesus gives himself for us sinners. He neither follows the crowd nor hates the crowd, but he acts to transform us from crowd to church, from crowd to a community centered in him. Come share in the sacred drama of Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Great Vigil of Easter. Come open yourself to Jesus’ work in you, and his work in us as his church. Yours in Christ, -Tom

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