Winding a rubber band around the faucet attachment is too basic. We’ve done that. One year, Liam put mustard packs underneath the toilet lid. You should’ve heard the howl from his older brother Seth from behind the closed bathroom door. We chose not to try and top that one. Mustard will stain all things. Sometimes permanently. It was funny. But awful. But really funny. I consider searching the Internet for fast, easy, painless, mess-free, not harmful, or hurtful – but seriously funny April Fool’s Day pranks. After several minutes, I stopped. This silliness was drawing my attention away from the real day.
It is also Palm Sunday. Jesus’ Triumphal Entry. The day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey. The crowd laid down palm fronds, and their cloaks, saying: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” They cheer Him and sing His praises today. By week’s end, they would mock Him, and crucify Him.
Two occasions at odds. The shallow secular, and the holy. Isn’t that every day? Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable even thinking about pranks. It reminds me how I’m always pulled away. Distracted by the promise of temporary escape.
All because, I know what’s coming. As if I’m standing in that parade. Listening to the cheers. I can see their smiles. The children laugh. Are they thinking of pranks too? They play at the feet of their parents. Waving palm fronds. Cloaks line the dusty road. I can picture myself surrounded by the happy throng. But there, close in the distance, the disgusted looks and narrowed eyes of the Pharisees. They say, “Who does he think he is? He must go. We must eliminate him.”
Jesus knows what’s coming. He always knew. The parade, the days ahead. How the crowd will turn on him. He knows. And still…He moves forward, undistracted. For our sake. There is a smile on His face. He waves. He laughs.
Our Holy Week journey begins.