I have these wee “picture lesson” cards. They were stowaways of an inheritance–treasures tucked away in a stack of books that once belonged to my grandmother’s mother. Publications of the American Baptist Society of Philadelphia, they have a photo and bible verse on one side…
A lesson on the other–complete with story, questions, prayer, and “memory thought.” In case you would have never guessed, they’re old. This one, for example, was Volume 30, 3rd Quarter, August 28, 1910.
Their age is evidenced in the lessons. Nearly all include a poem of sorts–an admonishment in rhyme. It usually has nothing at all to do with the story, excepting of course, the one on temperance: ‘If God’s own children we would be, doing his holy will, we must not touch nor even see, the wine that makes us ill.’ *snicker*
Apparently, they forgot the first miracle Jesus performed; or the fact that riding into Jerusalem for Passover, He was heading to a feast where wine was sure to flow.
Speaking of Passover, I often think of the crowd that gathered that day. They had heard the stories … tales of signs and wonders … of Jesus raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, and movement to the lame. He even forgave the likes of tax collectors and harlots. Many saw his works with their own eyes; some felt His touch themselves. The Messiah, the one they had waited for, had finally arrived. There He was, riding in on the back of donkey, not as a king of war, but as the Prince of Peace. They gave him reverence, making a carpet of garments and palm branches. Yet they had no idea what was to come. They could not fathom the price He would pay.
I dare say, we still don’t.
Oh sure, we know the the story, but I’m not sure we truly grasp the sacrifice.
But I guess that’s all part of it, isn’t it?
If we had it all together, there would be no need for a manger. If we knew how to convey the gospel, there would be no need for an example. If we were blameless, there would be no need for a cross.
Yet here we are, heading toward Passover Sunday that leads to holy week.
So it is my prayer for you, dear readers: whether it’s just another weekend, or you intend to wave a palm branch or two, take the time to ponder the true meaning of the holiday … to consider the gift … to prepare to celebrate with a grateful heart …