In the church this weekend, we entered the beginning of "Passion Week" as we celebrated Palm Sunday(Luke 19:28-40). Traditions may vary from church to church and denomination to denomination. I grew up in the Catholic church, which is steeped in tradition. However, our family has been attending a non-denominational church for the past few years and it is quite different. In our church, we heard in the message about how in this one week, the crowds went from the joyful triumphant entry of Christ shouting "Hosanna!" to the moment where Pilate is asking the crowd whether they want Barabbas or Jesus to be released and they shouted for Jesus to be crucified.
Our pastor spoke of how we must beware of the influence of crowds. There were quite possibly people being influenced to beg for Christ to be crucified in that later scene who, just a few days earlier, were rejoicing with the crowds and his entry into the city. We need to be cautious in situations where we might find ourselves being tugged in one direction or another. What it comes down to is whether or not the situation is from God or not.
The other point that the pastor urged us to remember is that God can be trusted! Stop to consider all that God has done for us personally - not the least of which is the fact that He sent His only son as a sacrifice so that we might be redeemed through His death and resurrection. During this portion of the message, some of what Ann Voskamp spoke of at the conference I attended came back to me. She shared that if God gave us His own son, doesn't that mean that He will give us all we need? When we count all of the blessings that we have in our lives, we are in essence counting all the ways we know that God can be counted on!
As we move through Passion Week, we move from a moment of triumphant entry where the crowds rejoiced to the somber, heart-wrenching moments of Jesus' crucifixion, we should consider again the ways in which we can count on God to be there for us. As in our normal life, we're moving from a time of hope and excitement into a time where a storm begins to brew and take things in a completely different direction. It's during this time, and during these moments in our lives when we should stop and remember what God has done - trust in Him and have hope that He will see us through the storm.