Sunday, March 29, 2015

One Little Girl and Her Palm Branch

Today is Palm Sunday.
One week before Easter
 ... when Jesus rode into Jerusalem
 ... the people cheered
... and waved their palm branches.
 Lucy's Sunday School class waved their palm branches and
paraded around the halls today at church.
They were the crowd of people who welcomed Jesus into their community. 
He was their Teacher ... their Healer ... their Leader.
Dan & I took Jacqueline and the kids out to lunch... fast food since Jacqueline and Tag needed to get on the road to head back to the military base. The young boy who took our order was gracious and understanding as we have quite a crew between the ages of 3 and 53! After we ate, Dan was getting Tag all settled into his Momma's car while Lucy & I were finishing cleaning our table and putting on her coat. Lucy had taken in her palm branch because
"I need to tell everybody that it's Palm Sunday!"
{The heart of a 6 year old}
The boy noticed it on the table and picked it up. Lucy said "oh, that's mine." I said that she had gotten it in her Sunday School class since it's Palm Sunday.  He looked confused and asked "what?" I explained to him about Jesus riding into Jerusalem 'the week before Easter' and the people cheered and waved their palm branches to Him.
The boy sheepishly said that he must have forgotten about it.  He hasn't been to church in many years. As a young teen he'd let his hair grow out to below his shoulders ... the church leaders told his parents that the boy needed to cut his hair because he didn't
 "fit into the church image." So, he left the church and never returned.
As Lucy and I were waiting on Dan to come back in, I began to tell this young boy ...
"I don't know of anyone that Jesus turned away."
He nodded and agreed.
I told him the name of our church and that "we meet over here at the movie theater just across the shopping center."
"Oh yeah! I know where you're talking about," he replied.
"You're more than welcome to come over any time... we're just normal people who live normal lives... and we all have a past."
He smiled and sighed with relief.
"Thank you. I may just do that sometime."
On the drive back to church ..... mmmmmm, movie theater .... to get Dan's truck, Lucy was telling her Grandad about the boy in the fast food restaurant ... that the young boy hadn't been to church for many years.  Lucy told her Grandad...
 "I can't imagine not being in church for so long! I sure hope we see him at our church -- because Jesus loves ALL people!"
Disclaimer ...
I know some people who are skeptical of others' experiences with "the church". I've heard some people simply say "well, I think people just look for an excuse to stay away from church! They're always welcomed and they just simply don't want to go to church!!"
And ... that could be true ... or not.
For whatever reason, there's people in our communities who have given up on churches.
Isn't it our responsibility to reach out to them?
To my knowledge, Jesus didn't pick and choose whom He would reach out to ...
so why should we?
 Sometimes an outstretched hand is simply
a child
with a palm branch ...

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