By Shelbey Younts, a junior elementary education/special education major from Twin Lake, Michigan
This week’s theme: God’s steadfast love endures forever
Growing up in my small town church, I have very vivid memories of Palm Sunday. All of the children in the church would gather outside the doors to the sanctuary with green, leafy palms stuffed in their sweaty little hands. Then we would walk in the doors and all around the sanctuary shouting “Hosanna!” and waving our palm branches in the air. Thinking back to those Sundays, I don’t think any of us knew why we were actually doing it. Of course, we had heard the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and people waving palm branches. But, why? I thought it was some sort of celebration, I mean it seemed like a pretty happy time.
But looking back on it, and reading Scripture about it now I am not sure whether to be happy or sad. You see, Jesus entering Jerusalem was practically his first step toward the cross and toward his crucifixion. Sometimes when I think about it I can’t help but cry. I don’t know if they are necessarily sad tears. But I am more in awe of the love that Jesus has for me. Even as he was on the cross and heading into Jerusalem he was showing mercy to us.
Psalm 118: 28-29 says “You are my God, and I will give you thanks: you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.”
During the Lenten season, I often reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made and why he did it. I think about why God would send his only son to die on a cross? And why he would do it for me, a sinner? Ultimately it comes back to the last part of Psalm 118:29 “His love endures forever.” God’s love is something that is so extravagant that it is hard for me to grasp and understand most of the time. When God sent Jesus to die on the cross He ultimately did it because He loves us endlessly. God loves us so much that despite all of the sin and burdens that we carry, God shows us compassion and mercy, and God shows us unconditional love. We have a heavenly Father who loves us more than we’ll ever be able to understand or fathom. Just let that sink in.
During this season of Lent, I encourage you to live in awe of God’s love for you. Take time to thank God and reflect. No matter what your situation might be at this time, rest assured in the promise that God’s steadfast love endures forever.