Thinking today of all the people who excitedly waved palm branches and welcomed Jesus into their town, honoring him as their long-awaited messiah and king, even though he showed up on a borrowed donkey instead of some fancy chariot. The religious leaders of the day didn’t get it. They were only expecting things to look a very specific way, and they refused to acknowledge this scrappy wanderer for who he really was, so they totally missed the point. I think we do the same a lot of the time.
I don’t want us to get hung up on point-missing things. The Big List of Rules™️ to determine who’s in and who’s out, which group of people we think are doing more wrong things in more wrong ways than we do, or making sure we always look happy and shiny so that no one suspects we “don’t have enough faith” (or that we are actually just human.)
Jesus didn’t waste time on such nonsense. He boiled it all down to two profound things: love God with everything you’ve got and love your neighbor as yourself. He led by example rather than finger-pointing, and whenever the gatekeepers of the day came at him, he didn’t make any excuses for being more interested in caring for actual people than worrying about who’s who in the social hierarchy.
This is why, when it comes to the whole baby and the bath water thing, I’ll just never throw Jesus out. The bath water is downright disgusting to me these days. It’s black and gritty with generations of twisting weighty words of love, grace, and acceptance into empty echoes of power-grabs and selective certainty. Bye-bye, bath water. Gross.
But Jesus, who is nothing but light, the one who rode into town on that donkey, getting eye-rolls from the religious elite because he was “doing it wrong”…yeah, he’s staying. He’s the way I talk about the Thing I think we’re all talking about, if we get really quiet and listen for what connects us all.
So wave your palm branches today, or any day really. Light your candle. Go for your walk, breathe it all in. And change the filthy bath water whenever you need to. But let’s be mindful not to throw the baby out with it. Let’s keep hold of the good things that connect us to the light and to each other.✨✨✨