A Different Sort of King

For the Feast of Palm Sunday, we welcome The King of Kings, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not into the city, but into our hearts. This year because of the pandemic, we celebrate the Victorious Entrance of Christ by staying at home, rather than gathering a large crowd in the Church. This year our humble king is honored by being invited to enter our hearts and become our King.

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Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Be Transfigured, where we invite you to live a new life in Christ. We pray that this episode is a blessing to you and will inspire you to rededicate your life to Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us for worship or study at the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where visitors are always welcome. We'll be back in a few moments to share some more information about our ministry.

So here we are on the great feast of Palm Sunday, the day that we commemorate the triumph, the victorious entry of our King into the city. And I must admit that this year brings a special meaning to me in that, having recently been to the Holy Lands, these stories are ringing a little differently for me because I remember being to some of these places. And so I'm of course reflecting upon having seen the actual scenery and then the unfortunate reality that while there was a great crowd present when Christ entered Jerusalem, today, because of the pandemic, although there was a great crowd, all of you are watching through your computer screens and TV screens rather than being present here in the church. And so it is an interesting juxtaposition in my mind, when normally we would be celebrating the gathering of a great crowd, we are here just a handful of us in the church.

And then it occurred to me that this actually is very fitting when you consider the kind of King that we have. You see, in the ancient world, a King would enter the city that he had claimed in victory, riding on an amazing horse, on a powerful animal. And instead our King entered in Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey; not even a grownup donkey, but the foal of a donkey. A humble King entering into the city that he was claiming as his own. So right there we have an understanding that our King is a different King. Kings of today ride around in golden chariots, fancy limousines, and our King went quietly on a donkey.

Kings of today have amazing elements of power all around them. Our King entered humbly with children calling out his name. Think of the difference, and maybe it makes a little bit of sense that this year we are celebrating our King in humility and in service and in sacrifice. Instead of coming in and filling the church with a thousand people today as normally would be the case, we are quietly, respectfully and sacrificially staying at home because our King is the humble King. Our King is a King of service, not servants. And so we, in our love for our brothers and sisters, serve God by remaining at home for the good of our people. And so maybe this year we can gain a little deeper understanding of the kind of King that God is and the kind of kingdom that we belong to.

You see, in the ancient world, the King not only protected his people from the marauders, from the enemies outside the city, but he also nurtured the people and he also raised the people to a higher level. That's what kind of a King that we have. He's protecting us from the enemy. Of course, the enemy is the devil, but he also brings us into his city and he wants us to be elevated. He wants to raise us to a higher level. That level is heaven. We spend our days on earth, but these are only temporary days.

Our King, the King of the Kings, our kingdom, is of another world. And so this year, let our hearts welcome the King in, instead of necessarily the doors to the church. Let us open our hearts wide for our King, my brothers and sisters, and let us call out Hosanna to God, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Let him enter your heart as your King. Let him take and raise you to a higher level. Let him serve you and let him teach you how to serve others, teach us how to serve others. And then we will have a deeper, and I believe, more profound understanding of what Palm Sunday is all about.

We're lucky here in Florida. We have Palm trees in our backyard, we get to wave palms no matter what. Others up North are frantically trying to find out how to decorate churches for Palm Sunday. We are blessed. Our homes have been decorated. Now let's decorate our heart. Let's not just leave Palm Sunday to a few branches on the front door. Let's make Palm Sunday a feast of our heart so that our King can truly enter in and lead us to victory over sin and over death. That is in fact what God came to accomplish.

It's something that Judas Iscariot, as we'll know later this week, did not understand. It's what the crowd fully didn't appreciate as they were calling out to him. Even his own disciples couldn't remember, what is this going on, until after the fact. Well, we're blessed. We have the after story. We know what happens. And so, my brothers and sisters, now is our opportunity to let him be our King and to let him enter into our hearts with victory and lead us to a new level. Glory to God, for all things.

Be Transfigured is a production of Be Transfigured Ministries in cooperation with the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida. We depend upon your generosity to maintain our ministry. You can make a safe online donation when you visit our website, LiveANewLifeInChrist.org.