The palm tree is like an epiphany...
I wish I could remember where I first saw this analogy, wish I had noted the author, the text, anything. Google search? Nothing. Nada. Zip. But I like this analogy.
The palm tree is like an epiphany. Its bare, brown trunk rises toward the sky, fairly plain of texture and pattern. Then, suddenly, it erupts with a flourish at the top. A-ha!
I love palm trees. They’re the predominant tree in our Florida yard. The streets I drive to school and church are lined with palms of different sorts. Each type seems to have its own personality. Queens have long, languid fronds that wave elegantly. Chinese fan palms look like dancers. On a windy day, oaks and maples wave their branches at different levels, while palms are confined to waving their arms above their heads, so to speak.
Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,"Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" Mark 11:9 NIV
I first saw today’s verse right before I went to exercise at the Y. As I warmed up on the treadmill I looked at the trees planted outside the fitness center: palms waving briskly in the morning breeze. They’re trimmed so neatly that their rigid fronds seem to be shouting, “Hey! Look over here!” I imagined long avenues of palms welcoming Jesus as he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, their trunks and fronds aimed toward heaven. I imagined the crowds cutting and gathering stately palm fronds to line the road leading into Jerusalem, while shouting “Hosanna!”
In a few weeks we’ll be celebrating Palm Sunday, when the people proclaimed Jesus as Messiah, shouting words that one was only supposed to use when announcing the Messiah:
"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"
But that’s not the only mention of palms in scripture. Psalm 92 proclaims that “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree” (92:12). Like the palm, the righteous grow strong and take root in the courts of God, proclaiming the goodness of the Lord.
As we approach Palm Sunday and Easter, be like a palm tree. Stand tall and upright, looking toward heaven, bearing witness to the righteousness of our Lord, our Rock, and our Redeemer.