The World Has Gone After Him

In the gospel lesson for the Daily Office today, we read about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12:9-19). 

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As the crowds are shouting “Hosanna!” and waving palm branches, the Pharisees look on with angst. They see how the crowd wants to look on Jesus, how they want him to be their king. And the Pharisees say to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!” (9:19).

The fear that comes through the Pharisees is palpable. They do not want the world to change, and now this guy named Jesus is turning the world on its head. But what really intrigues me is how the Pharisees of every passing generation gasp with shock and horror as the world changes.

This is happening right now. The changes in society are shocking to some, and I see as they gasp with dismay. Pardon the crassness, but we have a black President and a gay mayor. Things are changing, and the Pharisees are concerned.

Now, this is not just a reflection for 2014. I could have said this in 1776, in 1549, or in 1066 (War of Independence, First Book of Common Prayer, Invasion of England by the Normans); the names are different but the characters are the same.

My concern is not about the present moment. My concern is forty years from now. Will I be the one in shock and horror as the world goes after something new? Will I be the one talking about “the good old days”? Will I be the Pharisee?

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