Today is Palm Sunday. Though I can't say I particularly enjoyed walking in with the palms and singing a hymn all the way through twice as we waited for nearly the entire congregation to amble in, I did imagine getting to be a part of the original anti-parade, and feeling all the pride and joy as I got to celebrate Jesus. I love to see people be honored or celebrated!
My mind wandered a little during the sermon, but one of the stories he told, when I was paying attention, really touched me.
He was quoting another pastor, I believe, who told of a night his young son had had a violent nightmare. A nun had told him in school that day that if he "wasn't a good boy" (or something similar), he might go to hell! So after this nightmare, when his father came into the room, he asked him if he was going to go to hell.
His father said, "All I know is, if you're going, I'm going with you!"
I teared up at that because I made the immediate comparison my pastor wanted us to make. That our God, who loved us so much, wanted to be with us in our suffering. That if we had to go through it, God was going to come to us and go through it with us!
It reminded me of the time when my son swallowed a penny (imagine the horror!), and had to have surgery to remove it. I could hardly bear to leave his side and indeed, asked them if I could go with him and hold his hand while they gave him the amnesia. I'm almost crying just remembering that moment. Because, of course, they told me no. But they told me in cheerful child voice for his benefit as well as mine that one of the nurses would be right there with him.
I have to say that I understand SO MUCH MORE about God's love for me now that I am a mother!!
So I love it when my pastor makes those kinds of comparisons. I get it instantly, and with feeling.
And what a gift for me as we head into Holy Week.