Formations 04.02.2023: Welcome

Luke 19:28-40

I have always loved the images describing Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. It truly is triumphal. Crowds of excited people lined the street. They shouted, clapped, and laughed. Their cloaks came off their backs and adorned the road, creating an eclectic carpet for Jesus’s entrance. John 12 says that people waved palm branches as Jesus came their way on his colt.

Some of us have been to events like this. A winning team, a presidential visit, a hometown celebrity, and even Santa Claus can provoke such celebrations. Like the people of Jerusalem, we have lined the streets, shouted, clapped, laughed, tossed flowers into the road, or waved signs or flags to welcome a guest who excites us.

Adoration is certainly appropriate for Jesus, but his coming was not an occasion to celebrate the qualities that make for success in our world. Instead, we are to adore Jesus for the qualities that set him apart from the way our world operates: humility, servanthood, compassion, attention to the outcasts, care for the needy, love of God and neighbor, accountability for religious abusers, and justice for the mistreated. All the parables Jesus told, the prayers he prayed, the messages he preached, and the actions he took pointed to the grace-filled, sacrificial, eternal love of God.

That kind of love is worth welcoming, celebrating, and sharing.


• What or who was celebrated at some of the parades you have attended? What made them worthy of celebration?
• How did you feel when you experienced this celebratory event?
• How well do you think the Jerusalem crowd understood the guest they were celebrating as he entered on his colt?
• How well do you understand Jesus?
• What are some ways you can welcome and celebrate Jesus as you share him with others?

Kelley Land, a graduate of Mercer University, has been an assistant editor of Smyth & Helwys curriculum and books since 2001. In addition to this work, she is a freelance editor for other publishers and authors. She also regularly volunteers for Jay’s HOPE, a nonprofit serving families of children with cancer. Kelley enjoys spending time with her teenage daughters, Samantha and Natalie, her husband John, and the family’s two dachshund mix pups, Luke and Leia. She likes supporting community theater productions and is often found playing board games with a group of rowdy friends. She loves Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who. And she writes middle grade and young adult fiction for the pure joy of it.


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