Palm Sunday. Hosana in the highest.

I offer you the following devotion as a love song that must have been so close to the sentiments of those who greeted Christ when He walked triumphantly into their city, when He walked into their lives and souls. They knew He was their only rescue and they hailed Him on that day as King. Never mind that many of them would deny it all in about a week… in this moment on Palm Sunday they worshiped Him and laid down branches of palms so that the Jesus wouldn’t touch the ground.

How beautiful that we get a chance each and every Sunday to become these sorts of worshipers. I am struck in this season of Holy Week how much I want to walk like those devout followers who continue to walk with Jesus. Not just on Sunday when everything is magical and majestic. Not just when the crowds around me agree that Jesus is the King. But Monday and Tuesday. And Wednesday. And at the Last Supper when some people start arguing about who is the greatest in the Kingdom. And in the dark garden of Gethsemane when some people fall asleep instead of keeping watch. And in the crowds that deny His authority. And on the road to the cross, may I be like Simon of Cyrene who helps to lift the burden with Jesus for awhile. And lead me then to the cross, and not some other distracted place. Help me sit with the darkness of Good Friday and Holy Saturday and wait in proper expectation for Resurrection Sunday.

From a daily devotion by Charles Spurgeon.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.
—Song 1:2
For several days we have been dwelling upon the Saviour’s passion, and for some little time to come we shall linger there. In beginning a new month, let us seek the same desires after our Lord as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse. See how she leaps at once to Him; there are no prefatory words; she does not even mention His name; she is in the heart of her theme at once, for she speaks of Him who was the only Him in the world to her. How bold is her love! it was much condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint His feet with spikenard—it was rich love which allowed the gentle Mary to sit at His feet and learn of Him—but here, love, strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard, and closer signs of fellowship. Esther trembled in the presence of Ahasuerus, but the spouse in joyful liberty of perfect love knows no fear. If we have received the same free spirit, we also may ask the like. By kisses we suppose to be intended those varied manifestations of affection by which the believer is made to enjoy the love of Jesus. The kiss of reconciliation we enjoyed at our conversion, and it was sweet as honey dropping from the comb. The kiss of acceptance is still warm on our brow, as we know that He hath accepted our persons and our works through rich grace. The kiss of daily, present communion, is that which we pant after to be repeated day after day, till it is changed into the kiss of reception, which removes the soul from earth, and the kiss of consummation which fills it with the joy of heaven. Faith is our walk, but fellowship sensibly felt is our rest. Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks. O lover of our souls, be not strange to us; let the lips of Thy blessing meet the lips of our asking; let the lips of Thy fulness touch the lips of our need, and straightway the kiss will be effected.

Hosana in the Highest

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mercy road

Barreling towards us across the median, a pick-up truck slammed into the front driver side of our car. I was pregnant with our fourth child and my protective instincts were on overload. I screamed as our car was pushed sideways into another car containing another expectant mother and her two-year old son. It was extremely fragile circumstances, yet, in the very next moment after impact, I turned around and saw that every one of us was unharmed. “Thank you God, Thank you Jesus,” I said.

As the police and ambulance arrived, I began to wrestle with my own ability to offer mercy. Police explained that this man could be punished to the full extent of the law only if someone in either of our cars were seriously hurt. The fact that two of the victims were pregnant meant that even by our testimony of trauma, we had the potential to increase the charge from misdemeanor to felony.

After a visit to the emergency room assured me that nothing had happened to me or to my baby, I was released with instructions to return to the hospital if the baby stopped moving. For weeks I wrestled with the knowledge of how an exaggerated testimony could potentially put a drunk driver behind bars. Yet, I also knew that I would be acting out of vengeance and deceit instead of forgiveness and mercy.

A friend sent me a prayer and at the end wrote “For this man we pray too Lord, as he wakes up to the gravity of what could have been, that you would intervene in only a way that you are capable of.” I thought about how I could trust God to intervene when I had such a strong desire to see punishment. I was mad, this man was a drunk driver, and I wanted vengeance. But something didn’t feel settled inside when I thought about testifying in court. What would it look like to see mercy triumph over vengeance?

There was a court date set and on that day, I was still in perfect health. I did not set foot in that courtroom but I stormed courts of heaven that God would intervene with mercy. I prayed that the man who hit us would not live with guilt and shame but instead be aware that God had protected both families in the accident. To this day, I live in the freedom that I can that God is always merciful and invites us to do likewise.