And throwing their garments on the colt, they set Jesus upon it. And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road.
The disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!"
… And when Jesus drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace!" (Luke 19)
"Blessed be the King who comes in the name of the Lord," the cry goes up. People throw palm branches into the road in front of him as Jesus approaches, a poor man's ticker-tape parade.
Around a bend, there suddenly is Jerusalem. Jesus draws back on the reins. Crying disfigures his face. "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace."
The things that make for peace. We do not know these things, Jesus says, and God knows he's right. The absence of peace within our own skins no less than within our nations testifies to that.
So as Holy Week begins, let us name instead the one who is himself the Prince of Peace.
Jesus is our only hope: the hope that finally by the grace of God the impossible will happen.
Despair and hope. They travel the road to Jerusalem together, as together they travel every road we take ---despair at what we bring down upon our own heads and hope in him who travels the road with us and for us.
Hope in the King who approaches every human heart like a city. And it is a very great hope as hopes go and well worth all our singing and dancing and sad little palms because not even death can prevail against this King and not even the end of the world, when end it does, will be the end of him and of the mystery and majesty of his love.
Blessed be he. (adapted from Frederick Buechner)