Joy and despair

Have you ever experienced great joy believing that your greatest wish was about to come true; and have you ever experienced deepest despair when your greatest wish was not been fulfilled? In services on Palm Sunday, this coming weekend, Christians will experience both those extremes of joy and despair.   


On Palm Sunday we will listen to a dramatised reading from the Gospel of Saint Mark.  Jesus will be described as riding into Jerusalem and being acclaimed by cheering crowds waving palm leaves.  It is a glorious welcome and one only given to a King.  The crowds that welcome Jesus were confident that he was the Messiah, the saviour that would restore the power of Israel.

However, as the dramatised reading goes on we will hear of the arrest of Jesus, his trial and torture, and of his agonising death on the Cross.  We move from the joy of welcoming a King to despair when we hear of his death.  We experience the extremes of joy and despair.    


As Christians we are asked by Jesus to place spiritual values above material ones.  Jesus the King does not value power and wealth.  Instead he comes as a King of peace whose watchwords are love and forgiveness.  Jesus has come into our lives and turned our human values upside down.


In a few days time on Maundy Thursday we shall hear the account of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.  Jesus who was welcomed into Jerusalem as an all conquering King will be shown to be the Servant King, and it is in serving others that we shall find the true and everlasting Kingdom.


Paul Duckers