by Grace Martino
This post is part of a Lenten Series. For other posts in the series, click on “Lent” in the list under “Find Posts About…” in the menu on the right.
Palm Sunday is the last Sunday of Lent. Luke 19:28-40 tells us of Jesus’ journey and arrival to Jerusalem. People glorified and praised him for his wondrous works and ministry, but did they know what was to come? Jesus was exalted, worshiped, and honored, but he would ultimately become the greatest sacrifice in human history. Just like the disciples and people adored Jesus without knowledge of the devastating near future, so has sometimes happened in our lives and the lives of others. Around the world women who use to have a happy place or a home have seen the conversion of these dwellings into battlefields or a habitat of deep pain, whether it is from persecution, war or domestic abuse.
Now I know, some of you might be thinking, “Wow, what a damper on a day that is supposed to be so joyous!” On Palm Sunday, in the midst of the Hosannas and waving palm branches, it is important to emphasize God’s provision and our need for constant worship. Jesus had just healed many people and he had shown his greatness and splendor: How was he not worthy to be praised? But what about when he was beaten, humiliated, and bruised on the cross? Did as many people worship his strength and glory then?
Women and girls with whom we minister are many times at this point in their lives, where they are hopeless and see no end to suffering. They lose the desire to dream for the future because there seems to be no escape. As people who love and share the gospel, it is up to us to be a beacon of hope. Psalm 118: 21-23 says, “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Although we do not know the journey and obstacles to come, in the end we know Jesus saves. He answers our cries, and because we know he listens we are able to exalt his name at every moment. He makes the rejected accepted and the homeless sheltered. Just as the disciples could not comprehend the returning of Jesus’ triumph on the third day, we cannot foresee the blessings with which God will shower us. Jesus is the one who does the work, but we must deliver this message of hope and unconditional praise to the women and girls around the world—women and girls who need a future and Savior to believe in. In this season of Lent let us acquire the habit of thankfulness and continual adoration.
Grace Martino majors in Christian Ministries and Sociology at Gordon College in Massachusetts and serves as a member of American Baptist Women’s Ministries young adult women’s ministries advisory team.