Sunday, April 17, 2011

Your King Is Coming

Advent tells us Christ is near;
Christmas tells us Christ is here!
In Epiphany we trace
all the glory of his grace.

Those three Sundays before Lent
will prepare us to repent;
that in Lent we may begin
earnestly to mourn for sin.

Holy Week and Easter, then,
tell who died and rose agin;
O that happy Easter Day!
"Christ is risen indeed," we say.

Yes, and Christ ascended, too,
to prepare a place for you;
so, we give him special praise,
after those great Forty Days.

Then, he sent the Holy Ghost,
on the Day of Pentecost,
with us ever to abide;
well may we keep Whitsuntide!

Last of all, we humbly sing
glory to our God and King,
glory to the One in Three,
on the Feast of Trinity. 

Written in 1888 by Kath­er­ine Hank­ey (1834-1911) for the Sun­day School of St. Pe­ter’s, Ea­ton Square, Lon­don, these words have probably been sung by countless children and adults.  I am struck by the connection between Advent and Palm Sunday.  We heard the Palm Sunday processional Gospel on the First Sunday in Advent.  It probably seemed terribly out of place to us in Advent but now we see how the two readings tie together.  Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, and Lent all point us in the same direction.  Unlike a child's understanding of bits and pieces, the Church Year points us through and not simply to each section.  We are heading toward the cross and that is unmistakable on Palm Sunday.  Palms and Hosannas are not some joyous welcome home to a favorite son but the welcome of the Savior to His appointed destiny -- the one He willingly takes upon Himself for us and our salvation.

As we wave the palms and shout our hosannas today, my mind will still be back on the First Sunday in Advent when the lessons reminded us what was awaiting us today.  I truly love that tie between the most unlikely of Sundays and seemingly disparate seasons.  The cross lay hidden along the way from announcement to birth, from epiphanied glory to Transfiguration light, from ashes and repentance to palms a waving...  Yes, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  

No comments: