Prayer: For Palm Sunday

Today we remember when you walked into Jerusalem on a donkey. We get excited because in many ways this means we have won. This is a sign of victory and you are our king. So we yell with the crowds ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’ and ‘Blessed is the King of Israel.’ You came to crush our enemies and validate our lives and our longings. We are there with them watching Jesus ride in on a donkey and completely missing the point of the entire charade. Jesus is our King and finally everything we hoped for and he is riding in and taking a hold of that title.
Lord, we wait in expectation with the crowds.
God, we have been longing for so long.

The donkey. The outcasts. The prostitutes. The disciples. The shepherds. The tax collectors. We see it all. We see the spectacle. We just don’t get it. We don’t get your stories. We don’t get your grand illustration. But we join in with the crowds and lay the palm branches anyway. Everyone tells us you are the one to free us. Our parents raised us to believe you are the one that will finally fulfill our yearnings. We wish you would move forward but you keep stopping to have conversations with weird people. Move along Jesus, you have work to do. Address the powers. Remove Pilate from his powerful throne. Free us.
Lord, we expect big things.
God, we hold our breath.

Now you are really throwing us off. Why didn’t you go to address Pilate? Why haven’t you gotten yourself a horse by now? Why are the Roman soldiers still here? Also, can you take it easy on this whole criticizing the temple thing? Our ancestors built that with their bare hands and it took them years. Stop pretending you aren’t that big of a deal, as if you are just going to go off in a corner and die and not tell anyone. It was frustrating when instead of taking your rightful place as king you went off into the fields and hung out with your friends instead. We feel like you aren’t taking this as seriously as you should be. It’s making us a bit angry.
Lord, please hurry up, we can’t wait much longer.
God, we are really starting to question this whole thing.

Now we are among the crowd and you are up in front, still not saying much. So you know what. Screw it. You didn’t do what you said you would do. You didn’t save us. You didn’t free us. We are still here and now you have become an outlaw. You’d be better off dead. You’ve built up everyone’s hopes and now they are dashed. I don’t want to follow you into this. I don’t want to change what I’m doing day in and day out. I just want to be saved. And you didn’t do it. You deserve to be crucified.
Lord, we’ve given up on you.
God, enough is enough.

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