Practicing our faith through the times of the Coronavirus.

Day 21, April 3, 2020
“The Wave”

         The wave is a phenomenon primarily associated with, but not limited to sporting events. Often an individual will start the wave. They stand up and raise both hands in an exaggerated motion. When the wave works the next person follows suit. When the wave really works whole sections of a stadium will rise in unison, and the wave travels with growing intensity and fervor around the stadium. When the wave truly erupts with energy and enthusiasm, it will circle a stadium multiple times, the hand raising accompanied by a huge roar that reverberates through the crowd.

          Wikipedia gives numerous accounts of how the wave originated. Some say it first started at a Boston Red Sox game. As the legend goes the wave owes its existence to a section of tightly packed seats behind home plate at Fenway Park. These seats are so close together that whenever a fan had to stand up to say, get a beer, everyone else in the row also had to stand. The fans in the next row, frustrated that they couldn’t see the game anymore, also got up. This created a domino effect with the entire section rising in rhythmic unison.

          Often the wave is a result of boredom, or a lull in the action. Baseball is particularly well-suited to the wave. The slow moving events on the field, pitchers shaking off signs, batters taking practice swings until everything is just right, umpires rising up to put a halt to the action, and managers kicking dirt while complaining about a bad call all lend themselves to long delays…the perfect opportunity for the wave to break forth. Let me just say, I for one cannot wait until that slow-moving game that is played out on beautifully manicured diamonds gets into action. That goes for all the other “normal” activities and event we are missing out on right now.

          With all the normal activities that might elicit a good round of the wave put on hold during the Coronavirus, I thought I would tell you about a wave that will be coming up in a couple of days. Maybe you will mark the day on your calendar and participate. I’m sure ready to have something happen that causes me to stand up and raise my hands with wild enthusiasm while I give out a big shout of joy. Are you?

          Sometime Sunday morning, a little donkey is going to wander toward the outskirts of Jerusalem. A gathering crowd will line the path where the donkey is slowly making his way. In the hands of the crowd will be branches of palms. Everyone will have a branch, from the youngest to the oldest. Who knows how it will start, but the wave will begin. Maybe the ears of the donkey will twitch, just the slightest sign of a wave. Maybe a little child will swat at a fly. Just the tiniest notion that it is time for the wave. But one way or another it will start, first a smattering, then a ripple, cascading, growing, building, intensifying, until finally it is a wave, a great and glorious wave of palm branches exulting in joy and exalting the king.

          The king. The king is named Jesus. He is on his way to Jerusalem to be enthroned. We will revisit that amazing story in the days to come. Today we simple exult with joy as we exalt our king. The roar on our lips is the roar of adoration. “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

          Every time I have been part of a wave, it eventually exhausts itself. Either the energy for the wave wears out or sometimes the game simply ends. Regardless how it happens, the wave ends. Every time I have been part of a wave, it eventually exhausts itself. Except this wave that we know as Palm Sunday. This wave never runs out of steam. This wave never tires or loses focus. Although the wave is most noticeable on our yearly remembrance of Palm Sunday, the wave is always moving, always generating energy, always bringing hope, always spreading, and always changing lives. This wave is always changing lives, for those who find themselves part of this mighty wave are celebrating the love of God that brought salvation to the whole world through the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

          You have a couple of days to get ready, to get prepared, to make your plans. I cannot tell you exactly when it will start, for the timing of a true wave is always a little unpredictable, but I can tell you it will happen. Maybe the twitching of a donkey’s ear…maybe a child swatting at a fly…maybe someone who has been cooped up in their house for way too many days just can’t contain their enthusiasm and they jump up! They leap for joy! They raise their hands. They shout in exultation, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And the wave will begin. A wave exulting in joy, and a wave exalting our King, Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. “Hosanna!” Indeed, “Hosanna in the highest!”

          The wave is coming. I hope you are ready. What a day of rejoicing it will be!

With the love of Christ,