I am honestly not sure if it’s the fact that news is so readily available, or perhaps that I’m older now, and so I pay somewhat more attention to it than I used to, but it does seem to me that the news lately has been exceptionally awful. And I am very much NOT an “End Times” person, but the following Scripture verse does come to mind:
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the sufferings.” ~Matthew 24:6-8
Well, how can I help but think of those verses when I hear about uprisings in Egypt and Libya and earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and then the fatal rash of tornadoes right here in the United States over the past few days? Oh, and let’s not forget all the wildfires burning, primarily here in Texas!
“See that you are not alarmed.” Um, okay. That’s pretty difficult! Yet, today is Palm Sunday, the commemoration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem for the Passover, when he rode in on a donkey like a rock star, with wild adulation from the crowds, who would so quickly turn on him less than a week later and demand his death. And really, today, roughly 2000 years later, the crowds are still demanding his death! Our crowds today are not Pharisee-incited mobs of Jews, but “Liberals” who need to ‘kill’ Jesus so that their way of life can be affirmed: the pro-choice folks, gay activists, radical Sharia Muslims, socialists and atheists. Yet we are not to be alarmed.
And that brings me back to Holy Week. Holy Week gives us the opportunity to focus on what matters. On what really matters. Sometimes it seems that all the news is so bad, and that there is no hope in sight. But that is not accurate. The news that Jesus is very, very real, and that He really did ride triumphantly into Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago, and the events that followed – the Last Supper, his Passion, and His Resurrection are the real news. It is news that is so amazing that it must be shared, again and again, year after year, because no matter how bad all the other news may seem to be, it cannot eclipse this amazing Truth! And each year, we recall these powerful and mystical events, beginning with Palm Sunday, all the way through this Holy Week, culminating with Easter!