Blessed are you, O Lord, who comes in the name of the Lord.

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
~John 12:12-13

On the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem the people recited the words from their prayer book.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
~Psalm 118:26

They blessed the one some had seen perform many signs and wonders. They blessed the one some believed was the Messiah. They blessed the one some wanted to overthrow Rome. Like the crowd we all have our reasons for blessing the Lord. But the one thing they all had in common that day is that the Lord was right before their eyes, and they could bless the one who comes into our world bringing hope.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday when we practice rejoicing along with the crowd and hoping against hope that Jesus is who he says he is, the King of Israel. But even as we celebrate we know what our Lord will endure on our behalf. Like other days, Palm Sunday holds that tension between joy and sorrow when we long to see Jesus right before our eyes.

As you and I go through Holy Week, may we take time to bless the Lord who comes with hope in the midst of both suffering and rejoicing.

Blessed are you, O Lord, who comes in the name of the Lord.

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