Monday, April 8
“If they keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers!” Luke 19:40 (Living Bible)

Like any new mother, I have received lots of parenting advice over the past six months. Some unsolicited, most helpful, all well intended. But my favorite piece of advice – the one I have pinned above my desk so that I see it each day – is “have fun.” With sleepless nights, nursing strikes, concerns over childproofing, and fears of helicopter parenting, I find it nice to be reminded that this new adventure my family is on should be a fun one.

All too easily, we can lose the fun in Lent as well. We rightfully focus on the sacrifice, the solemnity, the preparation for the cross. But in the midst of that, one might forget a simple fact that is pretty obvious if you think about it: Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem sounds like a legendarily fun day.

Jesus fulfills prophecy by riding an unridden colt, he is welcomed like royalty on a carpet of cloaks, he casts out merchants and sellers from the temple (which had to be quite the show), and he fellowships with a crowd who “began joyfully to praise God” and “hung on his words.” I like to imagine that those who bore witness to Jesus’ arrival in the holy city that day would offer play-by-play accounts to their children and grandchildren in the years to come.

Of course, like a newborn’s diaper, that week in Jerusalem ended in a mess. But that doesn’t – and shouldn’t – detract from the joy that preceded it. As we seek this Lenten season to embrace the ways in which sacrifice deepens our relationship with God, we shouldn’t forget the ways that joyful revelry and fun are also parts of our faith.

Prayer: God, lest we forget during these 40 days you are the creator of all things “fun,” which bring forth immeasurable joy. Lead us down this triumphant path of cheers so we will be well prepared to travel the dusty road to your cross. Amen.

 – Laura Zasoski

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