March 25, 2018

By Rev. Robert English, Santa Monica First UMC, West District

Revelation 21:5

And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’

Today is Palm Sunday as we begin the journey of Holy Week. It starts off on a high note, right? Palm branches waving high in the air as we sing “Hosanna in the Highest.” But, Palm Sunday can also be a little bit confusing, because it is a day of contradiction and paradox.

See, we know that these same crowds who gathered to witness Jesus’ entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem will quickly flee from his side when things really start to go down. We know that the same crowd that cheered his arrival will call for his execution. Palm Sunday is a day to mediate upon the nature of our fleeting and fickle loyalty. It’s a time to recognize that we don’t always follow through or endure, especially when everything around us is crumbling down. It’s a time to admit that we don’t or can’t save ourselves. But, luckily, we don’t have to. Palm Sunday is a humbling day in the midst of a humbling season where we name and claim who we are, like who we really are, flaws, shortcomings and all. And, more importantly we claim who God is.

The reading for today’s devotional comes from John’s vision of the end of time. And in this vision we see God who, in a final act of redemption, reveals what has been true all along: that God has, is and will always dwell with us, longing for and calling us to live into the fullness of life-giving love. “Behold,” God says. “I am constantly making all things new. You can believe in this, and believe in me for I am trustworthy and true.”

So, on this day, let us remember that it is God whose faithfulness endures generation upon generation. It is God who is unwavering in God’s commitment to being in relationship with us. It is God whose love persists and insists in all things and through all things. It is God who offers us redemption and hope even especially when our love and loyalty waver. It is God who loves us and all creation back to life and makes all things new. Believe in this because it is timeless, trustworthy, and true.

Prayer: Ever faithful God, who loves us even when our love fails or falters, enable us to know your grace this day and empower us to extend compassion and mercy to others in this world. In the name of the one who is all compassion and pure unbounded love, Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.