Viewpoint from Rev'd Tim Thompson 26/3/10
The Rev’d Tim Thompson
Rector of Caister
In 2 days time, on the 28th of March, it will be Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. This is when we remember that day when Jes
us and his disciples came up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Festival.
One might say it was a trifle unfortunate because Jesus or his followers had organised a little piece of street theatre to help get their point across which turned into a rather rowdy demonstration by a whole load of the other visitors to Jerusalem. It really put the wind up the authorities who were desperate for a quiet week.
You will know what happened. Jesus had arranged to borrow a donkey and rode on it up to the gates of the city. And as he did so the crowds of other pilgrims from his part of the country gathered round cheering and waving palm branches they had broken from the trees along the road. They remembered the words of the prophets that their messiah, the true leader of Israel, would come to Jerusalem in humility riding on a donkey rather than as a king in a triumphant procession. The crowds were looking to Jesus to fulfil their vision for a more just and a more prosperous future so they proclaimed to all the world he was the Messiah.
The authorities, in their selfishness but also with the cynicism of experience, didn’t bel
ieve a word of it and just saw trouble ahead. The trouble was, they made sure they gloomy expectations were realised. I am sure you can all remember what happened next in the story of the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
Yet on Easter Day Jesus was raised from the dead, proving the cynics wrong and affirming the hopes of all those ordinary people who cheered him to the gates of Jerusalem only a week earlier.
This story holds a whole host of messages of joy and hope for us all. Yet one aspect seems especially relevant as we approach a General Election. We may be very nearly as cynical about political parties and politicians as the authorities in Jerusalem were about messiahs but that attitude doesn’t get us to a better place.
The crowds cheering Jesus had hope in their hearts. We need to have that too! To be able take our country anywhere we need to be hopeful, to have a vision of a better future. We need to bring that to the election campaign and demand that those who seek the mandate to lead out country are filled with hope, vision and honesty. For these are the sources of energy and ability which we need of all those who claim the responsibility of leading our nation.