Start your Palm Sunday with this Facebook face-palm story. Stick with me, there’s a point to all of this . . .
There are problems. And then THERE ARE FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.
“I have been staying up late every night checking the site. I didn’t think the site would refresh during the day. SO irritated! My girl has been waiting for a classic Elsa doll since Christmas. She can’t understand why Santa didn’t get her one since it was what she wanted most. Now she is hoping that the Easter Bunny will put one in her basket. She has been so patient. I really think this might be what stops her believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny. I can’t afford to spend over $100 on eBay for a $16 doll. This whole situation makes me so sad and angry. Thank you Disney for killing the magic for my 6 year old.”
And there’s this gem:
“WHAT IN [blanket-blank] IS THE HOLD UP, DISNEY? ARE YOU STAFFED ENTIRELY BY SOULLESS. DREAM-CRUSHING MONSTERS?? […] UGH. I AM FURIOUS. HENCE ALL THESE CAPITAL LETTERS. […] UNACCEPTABLE, DISNEY. YOU’RE LITERALLY RUINING LIVES WITH YOUR EVIL WAYS. FOR SHAME.”
These are just a couple of the hundreds of complaints against the mouse-magic-makers. And parents are in crazy bidding wars on ebay trying to buy $150 deluxe character dresses for over $1000.00 and $30 plastic dolls for $300.
So, this is what it’s come to, huh? Blaming a huge money-making empire for ruining Jesus’ birthday and His Resurrection because we can’t give our kids more stuff?
I know what you’re thinking. I know what you want to say to these parents . . .
I’ll admit, it’s easy to hear stories like this, laugh knowingly, shake our heads, and think “Wow. Talk about spoiled children. Can you say, ‘ENTITLED’?”
But am I much different? Allow me share some of the rants that I have posted on God’s “Facebook page.” These are prayers I’ve actually prayed . . .
- “Come on, God. We’ve been waiting for years! I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed that you would stir his heart and rescue him. Am I asking too much? This is the kind of thing You want to do, isn’t it? Why won’t You do it? Why are You waiting?”
- “How could you do this to her?” I growled at God through clenched teeth as I pounded my fist on the steering wheel. I was following the ambulance that was taking my burned wife to the ER. “She has been faithful to you! Is this how you show your daughter your love? Is this how you show me your love?”
- “Father, please, I don’t want to struggle with this sin anymore. I want to be a godly man. You say that you are more satisfying than anything, than any sin. I’m not sure I believe You. I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted and seen how good You say You are. Why is the pull of my me-first heart so strong? Why won’t you change me?”
- “Father, why would You let my friend hate me? Why won’t You help us reconcile? I want it, God, I do. Why won’t You arrange the reconciliation? Why don’t You break down the barriers between brothers and sisters in Christ? Why would you let Christian friends fall out of favor? What message does our disunity declare?”
- “God please, please don’t let her die. Please don’t do this to these sweet people. You have the power to heal, to restore. Please Father. I don’t know what else to say. I’m pleading with You. Please.”
It’s easy to for me to see consumerism in spoiled suburban children and Disney Divas, it’s another thing to see it in my relationship with God.
The Palm Sunday story of fickle followers who shake palm branches and shout “Hosanna! Lord, save us!” on Sunday (John 12:12-15), and then shake their fists and shout “Crucify Him!” on Friday (John 19:12-16). This significant moment in the most significant week in history exposes my problem, because I have the same problem those people had:
The Pharisees, the people in the crowd, and even the disciples, wanted Jesus to be a kind of Christ that He didn’t come to be, the kind of King that He didn’t come to be.
I, too, can get excited about following Jesus . . . IF He will be the kind of Christ and the kind of King I want Him to be.
Each Palm Sunday I’m confronted with the same conviction . . .
I may want Christ customized or Christ civilized, but what I need is Christ crucified.
I’ll unpack this more in the days to come as we consider Palm Sunday and it’s inevitable clash of kingdoms this week on the Cruciform Life Blog . . . see you tomorrow.