Palm Sunday

"Content to the world go by, to know no gain nor loss ..."

There have to be guardians. Guardian angels, maybe, or scud missiles. Perhaps we need more police, or sanctuary congregations. It's not safe. Syria is not safe. Egypt is not safe. Many feel the U.S. is not safe. Refugees, religious minorities, people of color, sexual minorities. So many feeling exposed, at risk. The first Palm Sunday was that way. God's people felt marginalized, oppressed, unsafe, uncertain.

This morning in worship we processed with palms, sang, prayed and read the Passion story from the Gospel of Matthew. During communion we sang, "Beneath the Cross of Jesus" and these words struck me, "Content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss ..."

"Can I do that?" I asked myself. Something is not right. There have to be guardians. Am I a guardian? It feels like American Christians have been called to a new level of watchfulness and action these days. Maybe it's just me. 

Palm Sunday is a short parade leading to a week long march to the cross. It is a week that, for most of my life, I have just stopped for, letting the story of Jesus' life, death and resurrection wash over me. This is the first time in 61 years the story has challenged me with trust. "It's not safe." "I don't dare let my guard down." "There is too much at stake, too much in flux, too much happening behind the scenes."

"Content to let the world go by ..." 

I am not content. I wish I were, but I'm not.

Walking home from church today I decided I will sing "Beneath the Cross of Jesus" first thing, everyday this week. It's a very little thing. It's not going to save anybody's life. My own, maybe. And as I sing I know what words I will hear, every day as I march to Golgotha with Jesus. "Content to the world go by, to know no gain nor loss ..."

I'm okay knowing "no gain" for awhile. I'm richly blessed - plenty of padding. But I'm worried about the "loss. I'm not sure what I'm worried about losing, though. Jesus loses everything this week - to gain the world. .Maybe he'll help me figure it out.