Welcome to Palm Sunday, also known as the “kickoff” to Holy Week in the Church! Growing up in the Catholic church, Palm Sunday was definitely something that was always a part of the Lent and Easter season. But honestly, I really never gave it the thought and reflection that I should have. I’ve mentioned in posts before that I’ve really begun to find myself in my faith and my relationship with the Lord in the past few months. Truthfully, I just feel so done with being passive in terms of my approach to church.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was content to skip a Sunday service here and there and to daydream about work that I needed to get done during the weekend messages. Even as I type that, I can hardly believe that I allowed myself to fall into those terrible habits for so long.
This weekend, I actually went to two different church services. Considering my Catholic upbringing, I decided to go to the Saturday service at my new church home so that I could attend Palm Sunday mass at my childhood church with my parents. They didn’t ask me, but it was something I wanted to do. Funnily enough, the service at my church on Saturday was about Palm Sunday as well. My new church is nondenominational so I didn’t necessarily expect them to devote the sermon to it, but I was pleasantly surprised.
One of the things that I love about my pastor is how engaging he is as a teacher and how he is able to present his thoughts clearly. I always walk away feeling like I just listened to a fantastic history lecture. But what struck me about his Palm Sunday message was that I actually learned a few things about the day that I never realized, despite my Catholic upbringing. In many ways, Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end” as it begins the Holy week in the church leading up to Easter.
Throughout this Lenten season, I have tried to be reflective and intention with my daily devotionals and time with the Lord. While this was hit or miss some days, I do feel like I made great strides with drawing closer to the Lord. In my post about the act of “giving up” something during Lent, I wrote that I was challenging myself to be more intentional with this season by adding some Christian literature to my reading list. So far, I have finished Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist and I am underway with Cold Tangerines and Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow. To me, I think Cold Tangerines is a great book to be reading during this Holy Week before Easter. Not that I’ll stop reading this genre after Easter, not at all, but reading Shauna’s stories of celebrations and gratitude is a great compliment to the reflection that this time in the church deserves.
Jesus’ death and Resurrection is cause for the greatest celebrations we could offer and I pray that we all use this week to even more intently reflect and pray on the events that changed our world.