Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt
Read Psalm 84
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
More thoughts for meditation
We are at the edge of our wilderness. The pilgrimage is leading us back into “civilization” and, in some sense, into the consequences that follow travels with God.
When our poet of the day (and week), Malcolm Guite, envisions of final leg of the journey of Lent, he reminds us that Holy Week is both about the Lord’s outward, visible, historical entry into Jerusalem for Passover Week and what he did there; but it is also is about his entry into the city in each of us where God claims his residence and what he will do there. You know the historical story of the “triumphal entry;” but all have our own gates, walls, watchtowers. In some sense we have a temple and a seat of judgment, places where we will be challenged and cleansed. We have places as intimate as Bethany and places as distancing as a kiss of betrayal in the garden.
The poem lets the outer story of Palm Sunday present some questions to our inner lives. Will I welcome Jesus to be the King in my heart? Is my inner city occupied and governed by a foreign power? Are inoffensive rituals practiced in my temple that do not offend the rulers? Has buying and selling colonized the space where there should be prayer? Are there crowds in me who are swayed this way and that by whoever seems most compelling or powerful? Can I welcome Jesus into all of that? [Click to hear the author read it]
Palm Sunday Malcolm Guite
Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of my heart,
The Saviour comes. But will I welcome him?
Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;
They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,
And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find
The challenge, the reversal he is bringing
Changes their tune. I know what lies behind
The surface flourish that so quickly fades;
Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,
The hardness of the heart, its barricades,
And at the core, the dreadful emptiness
Of a perverted temple. Jesus come
Break my resistance and make me your home.
Suggestions for action
Go back over the psalm and pray the parts you really mean.
Consider the parts you could not really mean and welcome Jesus to enter there.
It is Dietrich Bonhoeffer Day! enjoy his witness at Celebrating our Transhistorical Body.