As we were pulling up to church one Palm Sunday a few years ago, we realized we forgot something. Time was tight, so I dropped the kids off with my husband and took the baby with me to run back and get it. I thought I might be able to make it back in time.
But I missed it.
My favourite part of Palm Sunday: the Kids Palm March.
On the Sunday before Easter, the kids get to wave Palm branches and march around the church during the first few worship songs. When they get to the front, the branches are placed in a glass vase of water sitting under a wooden cross draped with purple fabric.
Amid the frustration of running back home, the disappointment of returning too late, and the general isolation of being a mom of a little one who is too noisy and busy for the service and too sniffly to play in the nursery, I felt sad.
My heart was heavy as I followed my little one around the back of the gym, praise music filling my ears. My eyes scanned the front and settled on the cloth-draped cross with the large beautiful palm branches sitting beneath it, and strangely, I understood.
Those palm branches held such hope for the people who had waved them by a dusty road into Jerusalem so long ago.
Hope that never came to fruition.
The King of Kings riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, welcomed by crowds expecting a political revolution.
Only days later, the King of Kings, mocked, beaten, left to die on a rough wooden cross.
Here’s what a palm branch looks like the day AFTER it has been waved with great enthusiasm.
Spent. Tired. Shrivelled.
And rightly so. Palm branches are not meant to last forever. Our hope was never in a palm branch.
Our hope is in the King of Kings.
And the rest of the story is still coming.