Lectionary blog on Mark 11:1-11
Text for Palm/Passion Sunday, April 1, 2012
It was a colt. A normal, unsuspecting animal, going about its own business, that becomes a key player in the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry in the Gospel lesson for Palm Sunday.
Perhaps it is lunacy to consider an animal of this stature to be central to the work of Christ — but I stand by that claim. I am drawn to this colt this week as I consider the journey that Jesus is about to undertake with and for us.
Now, don’t fret! I am not going to encourage us all to become colt-like, but let’s look deeper at this encounter and think about what we can learn and take from its presence in the story.
Jesus is clear in his instruction to the two disciples he sends on the task of gathering the colt. With a sense of purpose he says to them, “If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’”
The disciples do face questions, yet with confidence in their response they are allowed to carry on and take the colt back to Jesus. And the action can continue for Jesus to enter into the city as king — soon to be rejected as outcast.
So why the colt?
The sense of purpose of the colt is clear. Jesus himself declares, “The Lord needs it.”
The disciples went, asked no questions, did what the Lord instructed them to do, and brought the colt to be used by Christ. With confidence, they trusted and followed Christ’s call not just to follow him but to actually be used by him for the sake of building the kingdom.
What if we, as disciples of Christ, take to heart that same sense of purpose as we undergo our own practices of Holy Week? What if we live with that same kind of purpose every week and every day?
By grace, we know that Christ has called all of us, too. Christ needs us for his plan, for his work, for his kingdom. God calls with purpose in the very gift of Jesus Christ. And God uses us to continue Christ’s work in this world.
Holy Week is a chance to consider, perhaps a little deeper, what our calling is and how we go forward living that out. Remember: Jesus needs you and will use you for his purpose, for certain.
- What do you feel God calling you to?
- When have you been able to clearly respond to the calling you feel from God? When have you
been least able to respond to where God is calling you?
- What is the role of the church in helping disciples hear the calling of God?
Justin Grimm is the pastor of Advent Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Lake Ann, Mich., where he was initially called as a mission developer in 2005. Justin, along with his wife and two children love northern Michigan and all the beauty it represents. Find a link to Justin’s blog Ephphatha at Lutheran Blogs.