Have you ever experienced a warm welcome? Did it lift your spirits? Did it fill your heart with joy? As we walk through this Holy Week, may we welcome Jesus into our hearts and homes, and may His Presence renew our spirits and transform our lives.
The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”
John 12:12-13 – NIV
My husband and I have embarked on a new adventure. We bought an RV! It’s a 20 foot travel trailer that we pull with our truck. Yes, can you believe it? Anita is going camping!
Now lest you be overly concerned about my sanity, let me be clear. This is not really camping. There’s air conditioning, running water and a full service kitchen and bath. I’d call it “glamping!”
Last week, we took the camper out on its maiden voyage. A bit intimidated by all that there is to learn about setting up a travel trailer, we decided to stay close to home in case we forgot some essential peace of equipment. Selecting a campground about 45 minutes from home, we hitched up, said a prayer and hit the road.
To our great relief, we managed to locate our campsite and complete the set up procedures with only a few minor glitches. Given our far from speedy set up time, our fellow RV-ers could no doubt tell we were “newbies” at this camping thing.
But here’s what surprised me. Instead of mocking or shunning us, they made us feel welcome. In fact, it seemed like they rolled out the red carpet, just for us.
One by one, the neighbors stepped over to say hello and to see if we needed anything. Their smiles were warm and genuine, our conversations, jovial and interesting. We truly felt welcome.
As I sipped my hot tea the next morning, I contemplated this unexpected hospitality. It made me think about another traveler on a long journey, making his way down a dusty road.
I wonder. What was on Jesus’ mind that morning as he traveled toward Jerusalem? The people turned out in droves to greet Him, their palm branches waving in the brilliant sunshine. They spread their coats over the road, a carpet of cloth to make way for their King. It was a festive occasion, a jubilant celebration. “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of The Lord!”
What did Jesus think when He saw their preparations? Did He smile at the sight of their coats laid upon the roadway? Did His heart leap with joy at the sound of the people’s praises? Was He able to enjoy the moment or was His heart already heavy with anticipation of the trouble that lay ahead?
I certainly don’t know the thoughts that ran through Jesus’ mind that morning, but somehow, I hope He allowed Himself to enjoy the moment. I hope He could bask in the love and adoration of that palm waving crowd. I hope, even if just for a moment, He felt welcome.
Friends, the parade is not over. Though the streets of Jerusalem may be far away, the path to your heart is not. There is still a way to welcome Jesus. Throw wide the doors of your heart. Let Him enter in.
Let us celebrate our Savior! Sing His praises. Bring glory to His Holy Name. Roll out the red carpet for Him and receive His love, His peace, His gift of Grace. Let’s show Him a warm welcome.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 – NIV
O King Jesus, Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest! Welcome, Lord Jesus! We praise Your Holy Name. Thank You for coming, Lord! We praise You for Your Loving Gift of Grace. To You, be all glory, honor, majesty and praise!