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Advent Meditation: Monday, December 2, 2019By Kyle Dice Seage
Psalm 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 • Amos 2:6-16 • Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus rides into the city in triumph. Crowds shout Hosanna and place cloaks on the road as he passes by. To the residents of Jerusalem who ask “Who is this man?” the crowd shouts “Jesus of Nazareth.”
The entrance of Jesus into the world, as we anticipate his birth in this season of Advent, was not kingly, not majestic, not at all as triumphant as this entrance into Jerusalem. Born an infant, without power, and at the
mercy of those who cared for him.
I wonder if that’s why this Palm Sunday reading is placed squarely at the beginning of Advent. Mary and Joseph surely anticipated his arrival as eagerly as the crowds in Jerusalem, yet without the fanfare. Young Mary, tender mother, surely believed, as all mothers do, that he was destined for greatness. And so it happens that the crowds in our story treat him with greatness, yet we know that all too soon the crowds triumphal cries turn to jeers at the trial that leads to his death. His humanity tumbles as they become swept up in the frenzy of the crowds and he is swept
to his death.
The story of the tender, expectant child, born of a mother, delves unexpectedly into the man expected to conquer, but in reality is tender and gracious to the lost, the least and the last. Surely the cries of “Hosannah to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” were wild with expectation of freedom and recognition. With Jesus’s life and with his death, we are beneficiaries of the freedom he promised but not as expected. May our eyes and our hearts during this Advent season be fixed on the gift of love born into the world to redeem and heal us.
The Rev. Kyle Dice Seage
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
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