Dear friends in Christ, the readings for Palm Sunday are Psalm 118:19-29; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; John 12:20-43. Thanks to our Youth Director Josh Rausch for this reflection on the Gospel reading.
Have you ever thought about what the world looked like through Jesus’ eyes? He saw the people marginalized by society as worthy of love, the birds of the air as evidence of God’s provision and love, and wanted to see people live life free of shame and condemnation. To be sure, he also saw the sin-stained parts of life, but I think it’s safe to say that He saw and sought the good. However, in this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus makes this very strong statement:
“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
Jesus also saw the greater reality of God’s Kingdom as a present reality, breaking into this world. He knew that the glory of God’s Kingdom that he himself was ushering in was worth far more than even the most beautiful part of life without it. Jesus backed it up by going to the cross, forsaking his perfect life, to open to us that Kingdom and bring us back together with God. It’s not that life is worth hating, it’s that life apart from Jesus isn’t meaningful. Through Him, we learn how to love and live well, how to steward our lives as good-gifts, being sanctified by the Spirit, and living as co-laborers with Christ in the present-and-coming Kingdom of God. What do you love most about your life? Do you love it more than Jesus?