It will be strange not to gather for our Palm Sunday worship this year. A day in which we seek to replicate the emotion of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and understand its meaning for us today.
One of this weeks set readings is Psalm 118 vs 1-2, 19-29, opening with the words “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever”. It’s tough to echo this theme at this time with the uncertainty of income, employment, health and potentially life itself. It’s easy to sing of God’s enduring love when things are going well, but a tad tougher when we are struggling. Later at vs 22 the Psalmist writes “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. This anticipates the rejection of Jesus on Good Friday, and the affirmation of him through his resurrection on Easter Day as the Cornerstone of the whole of humanity, and for each and everyone of us when we receive him into our lives as our personal Lord and Saviour.
Many of those praising Jesus at his entry into Jerusalem, were a week later denying their association with him, frightened that the authorities he was challenging would do to them what they had done to him.
Today we have two threats. Firstly to our health from the virus itself, and secondly to our wellbeing from the social and economic consequences of the virus. We know that only a collective response will enable us to come through this stronger. A response that puts aside the desires of the individual, and replaces it with a collective response that seeks to protect all within society, then allowing all to thrive, starting from the weakest enabled by the strongest.
There is a Cornerstone that will enable all humanity to achieve this. His name is Jesus. Let us follow him in the week ahead, unencumbered by any fears we may have as he leads us to the victory of Easter Day and beyond, as he will do from this day to a time when we are released from isolation.
For those with internet access you may want to listen to these two songs that echo the psalmist themes. Give thanks to the Lord our God and King his love endures forever - & Cornerstone -