Melissa Brandes served as a Camp Fowler summer chaplain and currently volunteers as weekly chaplain. She is a Ph.D. student in Christian education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
The crowd shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” It is easy to hear these shouts as praise, but “hosanna” actually means “save now.” The people were crying out to this donkey-riding king for salvation. And they were probably remembering that King David’s son, Solomon, rode on a donkey when he became king (1 Kings 1:38), and that the prophet Zechariah foretold of a king who would come riding on a donkey to bring peace and salvation (Zechariah 9:9-17). The kingdom is coming! The king is here! Save us! Save us now!
Was it political salvation they sought? Or physical? Or spiritual? What did they long to be saved from? What did they long to be saved for? Today we might ask the same questions. What holds us captive as individuals, as a society, as a world? How do we steward the coming kingdom—the kingdom that is always in the active present tense, always breaking into the world?
As we ponder these questions alongside the shouting crowds, may God guide our reflection.
Prayer: Lord God, when we cry out to you for salvation, help us to see the places where your always-coming kingdom breaks into the world and beckons us toward freedom and peace. Give us the courage to follow you there. Amen.
The 2015 Lenten reflections were submitted by staff, volunteers, board members, campers, and friends who have spent time at Camp Fowler in New York.
For this year’s Lent devotions, the days follow the Common Lectionary texts. Each author was invited to: 1.Read the passage.
2.Read a couple passages before and after the assigned day.
3.Do something else for the day, keeping the passage in mind.
4.Find a word/phrase/concept that connects with your own experience. Reflect on that.
You are encouraged to do the same.