Holy One of God, who came down at Christmas, let me walk after you today. Teach me the humility that descends to the manger and ascends the hill of Calvary; teach me the love that faces death to win life and freedom for the lost. Create a new heart in me, a heart after your heart, and strengthen me with your Spirit to keep my heart from sin. Let me walk in wisdom and truth I pray—Amen.
Teach us of goodness, good and merciful God. Disdaining all the things that we think so much of—wealth, power, fame—you sent your Son among the lowly and ordinary. We see the noblest humility in the manger, the most gracious goodness in your willingness to reach down to the weak. Teach us to scorn the glories of this world, and look instead to the true glory of your infinite majesty. Teach us to love the good, God of all goodness.
God Most High, you reach down to the lowly, the humble, and the faithful. To Mary came the wonderful word that the Word would become flesh in her. Teach us to mirror her faith; teach us to say, like her, ‘I am God’s servant, may His will be done in me.’ In weakness and humility give us strength. Give us faith to adore and believe in your wonderful work, and to trust that will fully will be done.
“O Lord, my God, Thou art to me whatsoever is good. Remember me because I am nothing, I have nothing, and I can do nothing. Thou alone art good, just, and holy; Thou canst do all things, Thou accomplishest all things, Thou fillest all things. Remember Thy mercies, and fill my heart with Thy grace, Thou who wilt not that Thy works should be void and in vain. Turn not Thy face away from me; withdraw not Thy consolation, lest my soul become as a thirsty land to Thee. Teach me, O Lord, to do Thy will; teach me to live worthily and humbly in Thy sight–Amen.”
-Thomas a Kempis, quoted in Great Souls at Prayer, 308
The story of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem begins holy week with such joy; yet the message of Christ’s love and compassion is only magnified by our understanding of what He entered Jerusalem to do for our salvation.
The King of Kings came into Jerusalem not on a warhorse, but on a donkey’s colt. This was a deliberate gesture by Jesus, symbolic of His gentleness and compassion. Matthew the evangelist recognized that Christ’s coming in this way to the city fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey'” (Matt. 21:5, NIV).
Here is the compassion of the Lord of all things. He comes to us not with a flaming sword of wrath, but humbly and gently, bearing His message of grace. He comes to bear Himself our sins upon the cross. And there He will triumph, conquering Satan, sin, and death.
The crowds acted better than they knew to greet Him with the cry “Hosanna!” ‘God, save!’ is what it means; and here came God their Savior, our God and Savior, to save us from our sins.
Hosanna! Blessed is our Lord and King!