Sunday, March 28, 2010
A PALM SUNDAY PERSONAL APPLICATION
This last week of Jesus’ life on earth, this Easter week is arranged by the will of the Father. It is what he wills. Last week we listened to Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and while he asked to be excused from such an horrific death as a sin bearer disconnected from the Father, he qualified his request with submission to the will of the Father. He said, “not as I will but as you will.” Jesus is essentially saying that whatever the Father wants, he himself wants.
What God wants, is what I want.
That was so easy an attitude for me when I was a younger Christian and relatively unattached to people, to places and to things. When you possess little, and you are eager to be on your own and away from parental jurisdiction and you have a spirit of adventure that is eager to go anywhere It is comparatively simple to say to God, “What you want is what I want.”
But here I am today. I have finished a four decade career in formal Christian work as a pastor and an executive officer of a church denomination and numerous volunteer responsibilities in Christian organizations. Always during those years I was quick to say, “What God wants is what I want.” I have been married to Christine who has similar expressed that commitment to the Father’s will. With me she has prayed submissively, “Anything, Any time, Anywhere.” This shared obedience has developed our skills and connections and wisdom and experience and taken us to several cities to live and to work for God.
Now I have embarked upon a stage of life called retirement. During all the active working years Christine and I have seen our children married and our grandchildren born and all of them located within a five minute drive from our home, and we have accumulated stuff, property, house, cars, things. And now I have taken retirement to mean release from the myriad formal responsibilities of earlier years but not release from biblical spirituality and godliness of life. Nevertheless, when it comes to thoughts about whether to and when to sell our house, and where to relocate, and how to spend the remaining years of our possibly long lives, I know that I must say I want what God wants yet I don’t find submissively saying “Anything, Any time, Anywhere,” as easy as it once was.
I give you that personal anecdote simply to say here that the will of God is paramount in how each of us lives our personal lives and chart the course for our families with children who are still in our care, and it is paramount with how we do church and nurture our relationships and practice our careers in the marketplace or the Christian sector. What God wants is what I want, or more clearly, not my will but your will Lord.
So, the disciples knowing what Jesus wanted, went ahead of him into Jerusalem and met the owner of the animals and told him that Christ needs the donkey and its foal. This was what Jesus wanted so the disciples did it. It was what Jesus wanted so the owner gave the animals for Christ’s use.