Palm Sunday, 2010. I came across this incredible image of Jesus' fateful journey taken from a painting in the Zirl parish church in Austria. I see it and strain to grasp even with all we know now, the full significance of this humble moment. I can't help wondering how many people missed it? How many folks simply went on with their day, ironically preparing to celebrate the mighty acts of God in the world, all the while oblivious to the fact that the mightiest act of all was unfolding before their very eyes?
But then again, can we really blame them? Would we really be any different? All of history is about to change, but the only marker of the occasion is a homeless carpenter, who happens to be the Son of God, riding into town on the back of a common farm animal. Pretty sure I'd have missed it too. Or, worse yet, I might well have been one of these men depicted in the back, with scowls on their faces, pointing in self-righteous accusation. Makes me thank God for second chances, for giving us all another shot (each year) to experience in some small way His life-changing actions in this world. It also makes me wary: in all of our preparations and celebrations this holy week, is it possible we too might miss him, showing up yet again in the most ordinary places and ways?
So, I don't know where I would have been then, or even what I'm missing right now. But I do know this: by the grace of God, here is where I stand today--honored to be one who cries out in grateful anticipation, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."