There is nothing more important than the gift of faith that God in Christ makes possible through the cross.
The “Hosannas” of Palm/Passion Sunday, which do so quickly change to cries of “Crucify him, crucify him!” remind us of humanities basic changeability, yet they are but a backdrop to the permanence and eternal and enduring love of Christ that so patiently and persistently fulfills God’s promise of grace and mercy by climbing to the cross and going to the grave.
All things in our lives come and go. The greatest happiness, the deepest sorrow, they are like leaves on the winds of time.
Yet God’s faithfulness persists. God’s resurrection work upon us does not give up.
Recently Billy Donovan, head coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder, shared that after he led that team to two successful championship wins in 2006 and 2007 he found himself depressed. “Winning everything,” Donovan said, “can make you lose sight of what’s really important.” The late great actress, Katherine Hepburn, in speaking of fame, said you had to keep it in the back of you, always looking forward to what comes next, or fame could throw you off course.
Hepburn and Donovan are among the fortunate famous few who manage to have their perspectives ordered and/or re-ordered to help keep them on track.
But all of us need re-ordering. All of us need reminding that this beautiful, yet broken humanity of which we are a part; this is the humanity that God looks upon with judging love for the sake of saving us and rooting us more vigorously into a faith formed by the cross that will not let us go.
We have journeyed these forty days of Lent with the invitation to name all that separates and distracts us from God. Now on Palm/Passion Sunday we enter this Holiest of Weeks when the invitation to the urgency of God’s work through Christ only intensifies.
Our capacity for changeability, our capacity to lose sight of what’s really important can be at worst frightening and at best a tool in the hands of grace to wake us up to the deep need we have for God’s saving grace through Christ. The deep need we have for the faith Christ is making possible through the cross; a faith we will again, through this holiest of weeks, see bought and paid for, and made potently available to us as a precious gift from God through Christ. There is truly nothing more important than this blessed invitation and this holiest of holy gifts.