Today, when we came into the sanctuary, we were all waving these palm leaves and shouting things like "Hosanna!" and "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" Do you know why we did that?
We were acting out what happened when Jesus came into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday. Do you know the story?
Jesus came into town riding on a donkey and as he came in, people started throwing the coats on the ground where the donkey was going to walk. They shouted those same things that we were shouting just earlier. It was their way of saying how glad they were that Jesus was there and also how much they were hoping that Jesus would fix all the things that weren't right. They wanted him to be a King that would force all the bad people to stop doing bad things and kick them out if they didn't.
But here's the thing: Jesus didn't want to be a king that way. He wasn't about forcing people to behave the way he wanted them to behave. Instead, Jesus showed people how to behave by behaving that way himself. It wasn't what people expected.
Even today, we have problems with that. We want Jesus to make people treat us the right way. Instead, Jesus shows us how to treat other people the right way.
So, when you see these palms, remember that Jesus isn't the kind of king that orders other people around. Jesus isn't the kind of king that uses armies and war. Jesus is the kind of king that teaches us the right way to behave; that shows us how to do what's right.
Let's pray about that.
God, we sometimes want you to just come and fix things so that they're right. Help us to understand that the way you fix things is by helping each one of us do what is right. When it's hard and we feel bad because of how other people behave, help us to remember that you still love us and you even love those other people. Thank you for Jesus, who showed us your love by loving us and help us to love other people the same way.