As Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem in preparation for his final Passover, Scripture tells us that a spontaneous celebration erupted among the people. They greeted him like a victorious king and covered his path with palm branches and cloaks.
They drew from Psalm 118 in their celebration: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD," recognizing that he was the Messiah sent by God.
Psalm 118 also gives us a metaphor for salvation. "From my being hemmed in, I called on Yah; he answered and gave me more room." Feeling hemmed in can come from a lot of different experiences stemming from financial stress, grief, addictions, stress from the pandemic, loneliness, or worries over international conflict just to name a few. God answered the Psalmist's plea, a plea which came from being cornered by creating space for them. Other translations use the words "wide-open space" and "roominess."
As we reflect on the events of Holy Week and our salvation that is found in Christ's resurrection, may God's salvation be more than a story to us. As we find ourselves "hemmed in," may God's ability to create "space" also be our deliverance and testimony.
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Bales
Director of Communications
Presbytery of San Jose