It is traditional at this time of year to rail against the way Easter has been reduced to a greeting card holiday, replete with bunnies, baskets of plastic grass, hidden candy, new clothes and dinner at a nice restaurant. I have engaged in such self righteous fist waving myself, truth be known. I remember the first (and last) time my family tuned in to watch the Disney Easter Parade on television. I had just returned to live in America from Scotland and my four year old daughter, Kara, was a big fan of the giant rodent, so we plopped down in our ‘put it together yourself’ furniture and watched. Yech. Perhaps we should have known, but there was no mention of Jesus, the cross, or anything deeper than Goofy’s mental abilities in the whole parade. Let’s face it — Jesus has been fairly well edited out of Easter.
But before I gather a posse and go out hunting specks in the eyes of my neighbors (and Disney execs) perhaps I should sing the words of an old Kris Kristofferson song. There are probably only a few of you who remember who he was (is) and the influence he exerted on ballad rock in the sixties and seventies. His song, “Why Me, Lord?” was a thoughful counterbalance to the New Age yodeling of George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” As I was thinking about Jesus’ sacrifice for people as unworthy as me, the words to Kristofferson’s song came to mind. “Why me, Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known? Tell me, Lord, what did I ever do that was worth loving you, or the kindness you’ve shown? Tell me, Lord, if there is a way I can try to repay all I’ve taken from you. Maybe, Lord, I can show someone else what I’ve been through myself on my way back to you. Lord help me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it. So help me, Jesus, I know what I am. Now that I know that I’ve needed you, so help me, Jesus, my soul’s in your hand.”
On this Palm Sunday, as on every day, our souls are in the hands of Jesus, the Son of God. What will He do with them? What He has always done with them! Let His love and sacrifice humble us, turn us from judging others to examining ourselves, and drive us to commit to Him even more in the days and years ahead.