We all have longings. Some of them are not good for us or others; but some of them are very right and very good! Some people want freedom from addiction. Some want freedom from guilt and shame that plagues them day in and day out. Some want things for others to be right. They want to see justice for the marginalized, hospitality for the displaced, protection for the vulnerable, healing for the sick, food and shelter for the poor, authority without hostility, and fair equitable treatment for all. The longing to be right and to have things right is human. In fact, one could even say that the human race is “hard-wired” with longing for things to be other than they are. (It’s almost like we came from Paradise and we’re trying to find it again.) Paul wrote that we are “groaning” along with the whole creation. Palm Sunday is about that longing. Palm Sunday is to Easter what Advent is to Christmas. On Palm Sunday we address our longing, we face it, and remember why. Longing is painful sometimes. But, while to feel nothing and long for nothing may be considered a virtue by some Eastern religions, it is not true to human nature. To long for the right things and look to Jesus for them is at the heart of Christianity. To receive from Jesus and to join Jesus in what He is doing in the world, while looking for His return, is the solution to our longing. What do you want?
A terrible idea became a part of American thinking in the 1960’s. In those days it was known as “the generation gap.” Previous to then, the “gap-idea” between generations was not in circulation as a sociological paradigm. The segregation of generations that resulted from this “enlightenment” actually caused the so called generation gap, it didn’t fix it. The more we isolate generations from one another, the less understanding, compassion and unity we’ll have. An “us and them” mentality begins to form. Each generation develops their own language, their own music, their own entertainment and ultimately their own view of theology and life. This is not acceptable in homes that have Christ at the Head. The family was the first “institution,” predating the church by thousands of years. God had very specific intentions for the family and they are not complicated. I didn’t say family life is not complicated, I said God’s intentions are not complicated. Much of our struggle today is the result of ignoring God’s intentions. Ephesians 5 and 6 is a beautiful summary of what God had in mind for the family and no generation gap is mentioned. Wise is the parent who kicks that 60’s “enlightenment” to the curb and enters fully into the stewardship God assigned.