We walked in and the church felt electric. The people sat in anticipation waiting for the promise of a good meal. Mother’s and their children sat upright in their seats as we entered. I could see the curiosity in each face. “Who are these people who have offered us this meal in this church setting?” I knew that is what they wondered. I couldn’t understand their language but I could read their faces. They had been stirred by an inquisitive desire to learn about our hospitality. I think it had been a long time since they had been prepared a meal that didn’t consist of whatever they could scrape together. Most of the attendees were mothers and children. Very few fathers showed up. Most of the women had no husband to support them, and most of the children were fatherless. This left these families in dire straights to support themselves or their children. We at IAMNOT4GOTTEN MINISTRIES had invited them to this church service and this meal. These children participate in a school lunch program that our ministry supports. The lunch that is provided for them each day at school is usually the only meal they will get that day. We invited them to this church meal so that we could honor them and tell them about the ONE WHO HAS PROVIDED ETERNAL LIFE FOR US.
“So the disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those following kept shouting, “ Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” As he entered Jerusalem the whole city was thrown into an uproar, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.””
Matthew 21:6-11 NET
“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. They began to shout, “ Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!”
“ Do not be afraid, people of Zion; look, your king is coming, seated on a donkey ’ s colt! ” (His disciples did not understand these things when they first happened, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him and that these things had happened to him.) So the crowd who had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead were continuing to testify about it. Because they had heard that Jesus had performed this miraculous sign, the crowd went out to meet him.”
John 12:12-13, 15-18 NET
Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Over two thousand years ago, this was the scene that was transpiring on the outskirts of Jerusalem as Jesus was traveling into the city. Golgatha’s hill loomed in his eyesight as Jesus was traversing down the hillside into Jerusalem. A week ago this Palm Sunday I was in the outskirts of ADDIS Ababa Ethiopia entering into a Full Gospel church in the BOLE sub city of ADDIS. Yesterday as I read these events of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem I felt a type of Deju Vu. The people who met us in the church that day were wondering who we were. As Jesus entered Jerusalem that day, all of Jerusalem was thrown into an uproar and wondering, “Who is this?” Why the uproar? Why the curiosity? A crowd had stirred up this commotion and this excitement in Jerusalem because of their testimony of what they witnessed at the tomb of Lazarus. This crowd had seen first hand that Jesus had called forth that which had no life and had given life back to a dead man. They went out as Jesus enterered and proclaimed to all, this is the LIFE GIVER!
My friends and I did the exact same thing that Sunday in the little church in Ethiopia. We went in proclaiming and testifying of the ONE WHO HAD GIVEN US NEW LIFE! We spoke of the Bread of Life. We offered a meal IN HIS NAME!
“Moses said to God, “If I go to the Israelites and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ – what should I say to them?” God said to Moses, “ I AM that I AM.” And he said, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘ I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘The LORD – the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation.’”
Exodus 3:13-15 NET
We who knew the Great I Am and had spent time in His Presence went to these struggling families and told them, “I AM THAT I AM has sent us to you and He has not forgotten you. He has told us to feed you and to give you LIVING WATER!”
Lord may I always be these people who proclaim to the world about the ONE WHO HAS GIVEN ME NEW LIFE!