As Those Who Have Hope

Good morning,

Today if you’ve checked your calendar, you’ll notice that it’s Palm Sunday.

As it turns out, Tony and I have just “Walked where Jesus walked” (or in the words of an exhausted lady in our tour group, we ran where Jesus walked), but the experience was definitely life changing, there’s no doubt about that.

In the course of our tour, we retraced the steps that Jesus must have taken as he entered the city that fateful Sunday when people laid down the palm leaves and their cloaks to welcome him into the city.

Of course it was an emotional experience for us, to think about that day, and the days to come that make up the entire ‘Holy Week’.  On Palm Sunday, His entrance was triumphant. He was their Messiah and they were pretty sure He was going drive out those Roman infidels and save them. And save us He did, although it didn’t really play out the way the crowds had hoped for at the moment.

But what an experience, to realize the MESSIAH came into the city, did everything that was necessary to fulfill prophecy and then died and was resurrected, with the promise of coming back someday!  I knew that, of course, but standing on the road where that week began brought it home to me with new eyes. And if that wasn’t enough, we continued into the city that day and stopped at the Western wall of the Temple, colloquially referred to as the “Wailing Wall”

And why is it called the “Wailing wall”, you ask?

Because this is the ONLY place where contemporary Jews can approach what’s left of their temple.  It’s maybe 100 feet long, divided between the men and women and that’s ABOUT it.  If a Jew wants to really pray, that’s the only place they can go.  They cannot offer sacrifices like they used to in the Old Testament, because that would require going to the one site designated by God, and which unfortunately for the Jew, is now occupied by the Muslim “Dome of the Rock”.

I think this is just SAD on so many levels.

The Jews do not recognize Jesus for Who He was, and so they continue to wait and pray and yearn for a “Messiah” to come and save them. They cannot worship the way their traditions and their Torah tells them to, so they have to resort to crowding into a small chunk of the remaining wall and try to voice their prayers there. The picture that is attached (if you’re getting this by email) spoke volumes to me.  You see a mother, her head bent in prayer while her child sat in the stroller.  On the back of the stroller, there hung a bag with a happy Mickey Mouse cartoon on it.

Most of you out there reading my blog know and have experienced, as we have, the love of a parent for their child. Part of that love is the HOPE for a future that is filled with life, opportunity, the peace of God, and maybe a bit of fun.

What tugged at my heartstrings that day was the sight of this young mother, tears in her eyes, her hands outstretched to the temple wall, praying as those who have no hope …. And her child looking on from a Disney-decorated stroller.

Thank you Lord for the hope that is ours because of Easter. May that hope and joy and peace reach out beyond borders and into the hearts of people everywhere.

Happy Easter!

Marsha

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