will you ride with Jesus? A Palm Sunday Meditation

Will you ride with Jesus?
Who rides to the dark Calvary
Whose legs drag the ground as he sits astride a borrowed colt
Who rides through palm branch pom-poms and shouts of joy
Who rides past swooning crowds: who do not grasp his destination
Who looks at the Holy City and weeps for our inhumanity and sin
Who rides through a Temple that excludes foreigners, eunuchs, women, and lepers
Who rides with those who argue about who is the greatest
Who rides to last meal with friends, offering a cup of forgiveness
Who rides to the garden where torches and swords interrupt his prayer
Who rides to Judas’ betraying kiss
Who rides to Peter’s denying lips
Who rides to Pilot’s unjust indifference
Who rides through the Chief Priests’ jealousy and fear
Who rides through the Pharisee’s justification: “that it is better that one die than many”
Who rides into every holocaust, genocide, abuse, racist word, and sin
Who rides to a crown fashioned from thorns
Who rides carrying our shame
Who rides wearing a mocking robe
Who rides towards taunts, spit, and wounds: “you saved others: save yourself”
Who straightens himself and pleads: “Almighty God, forgive them: they have no idea”
And then he will ride into death…
He rides into Hell
He rides into fire and brimstone to preach love
The hoof beats shake the creation overturning Hell’s tables, holds and bonds
He rides up from grave
He rides through deaths door on Easter
He rides with all Heaven’s company dancing wildly about him
He rides to a weeping Mary Magdalene and calls her name
He rides into rooms of fearful followers calling: “Peace be with you, do not be afraid”
He rides to restore Simon Peter with another net teaming with fish
He rides to the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, and the ashamed
He rides to our tables, cubicles, keyboards, and empty souls
He rides to sinners, deniers, liars
He whispers to us, “ride with me”

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