It was great to once again spend Sunday morning with Fullbridge Church in Maldon, north Essex. Unpacking the Palm Sunday story, I sought to capture something of what was going on as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. Now for me I was always taught not to randomly pull branches off of trees. Whats more as I drove in Maldon on Sunday I didn’t spot too many Palm trees lining the road sides. How do we therefore relate to such an account, and have we actually become too familiar with it that we simply go through the motions – therefore missing the awesomeness of what is going on?
With the aid of a few dozen party poppers, bags of balloons, bubbles, streamers and party-hooters, we endeavoured to give the reading of Jesus arriving on a donkey a feel we could maybe more easily connect with today. It was great not only to make a load of noise (and mess), but also to think about how on one day the crowd cheered for Him, where a few days later they were to cheer, only in a very different way.
What was also encouraging was that whilst lining up to get a cup of coffee, a lady spoke to me enquiring about a previous family service I’d taken at the church. I’d given out packets of seeds with the challenge of what is it that we plant as followers of Jesus as we live our lives. It was an aid memoir if you will, something to spark further thought. the lady had gone and planted her seeds as a constant reminder. It was brilliant to see that she’d not only engaged with the idea, but from our conversation, had really start to think through the response that she was giving in her life.