I was sitting at my desk when I heard something loud and obnoxious. So, I got up to look and immediately determined the problem. It was a kid on a motorcycle racing around our church parking lot.
He was about 18, plus or minus. The motorcycle was sporty, fast, and loud, and he was going all out. Suddenly, he drove onto the street, pulled a wheelie; and shot down Area Boulevard as far as I could see.
- There are no signs on our property inviting motorcycle racing.
- Our parking lot is not a race track.
- The young man wasn’t wearing a helmet, long pants, or shoes.
- He looked excited, happy, and full of joy.
I was almost ready to confront him. He was disturbing the peace and bothering my sermon preparations. He had some nerve.
But he left. But if I had, I would have told him to get off our property, and to do it quickly, because our church is no place for people to get excited, happy, and joyful.
Wow, I’m such a good leader.
Okay, that didn’t come out just right. But it’s an interesting question. Is the church I preach for a place where people can be excited, happy, and joyful?
Some might say that excitement and joyfulness are too much like the motorcycle. Some might say that those who inspire such things need to calm down, get all their wheels on the ground, and put on some long pants. Maybe some shoes too.
One Day At The Temple
There were two responses to Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey:
- Excited people.
- Angry leaders.
The crowds were happy but the leaders were apoplectic. They were angry with Jesus because he interrupted their exploitive operations in the temple courts. And he healed the lame and the blind who weren’t supposed to be in the temple area. Then the children began shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”
Jerusalem was buzzing about the Son of David’s arrival. But the religious leaders were frustrated and angry. The Temple was no place for excited, happy, and joyful people.
The people lifted Jesus up while the leaders tore him down.
The children praised him but the leaders resented the children.
Jesus welcomed the unclean but the leaders despised their presence.
Celebration and praise enthusiastically erupted but the leaders didn’t like it.
The leaders felt that some wouldn’t like it. That is wasn’t a good time.
Excited, happy and joyful?