by Christopher Harbin

War or Peace
Christopher B. Harbin
Luke 19:29-42

How should one receive a king? What expectations do we place on leaders? At what point are we willing to be led in directions that might run counter to our desires? What do we do with that interplay between being led and directing those who would lead us? How different is our attitude toward God's direction for our lives? Are we at peace with God on God's own terms?

There is a new pope in Rome. Many groups around the world were anxious about the election of this new pope. There were many questions making the rounds of the news shows and discussions in churches, homes, and meeting places the world around. Which Cardinal would be elected? Which interest group or groups would he represent? What direction would the new pope take the church? How would the new pope handle issues faced by the Catholic Church in terms of women's issues, pedophilia, and the growing scarcity of priests? Many were surprised when the first Latin American was elected pope, the first Jesuit, a man who seems to have taken a stance contrary to some of the traditional pomp and wealth associated with the office. In significant ways he doesn't seem to fit the expected mold.

By the same token, what we call Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem raised many questions in his own day. Jesus' entry was not a simple entrance into the city. His actions and acclamation by the crowds communicated a message. That message included an outward acceptance of his position as Messiah or King, God's Anointed. On that day Jesus was being acclaimed by the crowds as the one who would fulfill the roles and expectations placed upon God's anointed leader for the chosen people. They waved their palm fronds, laid clothing on the ground before him, and began asking questions about his identity as Messiah, Anointed, and King.

The crowds acclaimed him as fulfilling the expectations of Messiah. There were other voices, however, of those uncomfortabl ...

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