It was an extremely emotional experience, and one that I will remember
for a long time.

On a beautiful Sunday morning, I stood at the crest of the Mount of
Olives and looked westward across the Kidron Valley toward Jerusalem. The
brilliant sun glistened on the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock, a mosque
that occupies the spot in the Esplanade of the Temple where the Temple of
Solomon once stood. A road, centuries old, from Bethany and the Jordan valley
to Jerusalem crosses the Mount of Olives and winds its way over the western
slope of the mountain.

As I surveyed that scene, I remembered another Sunday morning and the
events surrounding it that occurred nearly two thousand years ago at, or near,
the place where I was standing. On that ancient Sunday morning, Jesus, riding a
borrowed donkey on which no one had ridden, met a large and enthusiastic crowd
of supporters who welcomed him warmly, gladly, and noisily to Jerusalem. They
waved palm branches taken from nearby palm trees, and many in the crowd “spread
their cloaks on the road” ahead of him. Most, if not all, of them shouted
enthusiastically, “Hosanna in the highest!” Then, when he entered Jerusalem,
“All the city was stirred.”

But that enthusiasm and emotional support faded quickly. Before the
week was gone, the loud shouts of “Hosanna” were gone, and they had been
replaced with, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” One of his trusted and closest
friends vehemently denied that he ever knew him, and another trusted friend
placed a kiss of betrayal upon his cheek.

Palm Sunday commemorates the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem,
and the day is celebrated joyfully annually. But the day is a poignant reminder
of a significant fact: Emotional enthusiasm, expressive as it may seem to be,
is totally inadequate. It doesn’t last when the going gets rough. When there
is nothing more, loyalties change quickly and abruptly for no good reason.

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  1. A Sense of Direction and Value
    By Harold Coop
    (Mr. Coop lives in Lancaster where I live. This is what he wrote for our latest issue of the Central Record. I want to encourage you to read this. I think it is pure wisdom.)
    “During the Great Depression years, when I was a small boy, we spent many winter evenings around the fireplace. To entertain us, my father often took an old tattered McGuffey’s Third Reader from the shelf and read stories from it to us.
    That old book was one of the textbooks my father used when he was a small boy attending a one-roomed county school. It was one of a series of textbooks written by William Holmes McGuffey and used in American schools from the middle of the 19th century until the early part of the 20th century. The fascinating stories in the old book were written to teach students to read. But there was more: Each story contained a moral truth that was not to be missed by the student.
    Then, we moved in an entirely new direction. The McGuffey Readers with stories illustrating moral truth were abandoned, and a significant change was made. When I started to school in a one-roomed country school, I was given a beautiful new textbook. With bright yellow binding, it had page after page of beautifully colored pictures and a simple story about Ben and Alice.
    Now, Ben and Alice, a little boy and a little girl, lived in an unreal world where nothing was wrong and nothing was right. Day after day the sun rose in the east, and the close of the day, it disappeared in the west. The book was nothing more than a jumble of words correctly written so first grade students could learn to read and build a vocabulary.
    But there is more to life than that. One needs a sense of direction and value. Sometime ago, I came across a significant statement: [Don’t just teach kids to count. Teach them what counts.] This will help to prepare them for life in a real world where difficult decisions have to be made and some things are right and some things are wrong.”

    I placed this on my facebook page. I though more people should see it.

    March 19, 2013 Garry Vickers Reply

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