Scripture Reading: Luke 19:28-44, Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 118:25-29
I pass a large lake on my way to work each day. The sight of it always makes me breathe in deep and slow, exhaling with relief at the beauty.
We are transitioning from winter to spring here in Nashville, but the transition has been bumpy at best: 70 and sunny one day, 30 and snowing the next. The trees have begun to bloom and the birds have started their singing, and I refuse to take my puffy coat back out of the closet even though the temperature merits it.
This morning when I drove past the lake it was 35 degrees outside. The spring sun was especially bright, and I squinted as it shone through my driver’s side window. A dense layer of fog covered the water as far as I could see. Gulls danced in and out of the cloud-like mist, some resting still and peaceful on the glassy surface. The sun, the fog, the gulls, the water—the combination stunned me, caught that deep sigh in my chest and held it there a minute. It was the second day in a row the lake looked exactly like this, and both times it brought worship to my lips.
I praise you, Lord, for you are the Creator God, the maker of the water and the birds, the sun and the mist, and the breath in my lungs. You are God, you are Lord, and I give you all of me today.
There was no analyzing my prayer outline or word choice, no time for false pretense or doubt. I’d seen a glimpse of the glory of the Lord, and immediate, unhindered praise felt like the only possible response.
Spontaneous worship sessions are not new to our Almighty God. Since the making of mankind and the dawn of creation, people and nature have praised Him. On this day recorded in Luke 19, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and another chorus of praise erupted:
Blessed is the King who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest heaven! (v.38)
Luke tells us “the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen” (v.37). Miracles—plural. Many of them. These people who had been following Jesus knew this was not just a man. This man was the Son of God. They had seen a glimpse of His glory, and it led them to worship.
As Jesus rode on toward the gates of Jerusalem that day—toward the death due every single human but Him—He wept for its brokenness. He lamented the devastation that would come because the people did not recognize the Messiah in their midst (v.44).
As we enter Holy Week, may we see Jesus for who He is. May we read with clear eyes and open hearts the Gospel accounts of these days and events that are the foundation of our faith. And may we worship the One at the center of it all. By God’s goodness and grace, let it never be said of us: “You did not recognize the time when God visited you” (v.44).