THE BLOG
03/26/2013 09:27 pm ET | Updated May 26, 2013

Jesus Christ, This Ain't No Ordinary King

Go untie the colt and bring it
If they ask you why say my Lord needs it
The Reign of God is near and he's bringin' it
Break the rules of fools and the greedy
Make a space for those who are needy
A taste of God's grace so amazing
Love divine all loves excelling
Peace and joy but fear expelling
Heal the lame and make the blind see
Once was lost but God found me
And brought me home to arms embracing
Fear and hurt and wounds erasing
Prophecy said the Reign was near
God's plan of salvation made clear
Here comes your king, triumphant and victorious
Riding on a colt...how ridonkeylous
He'll lead us in the way of peace
When Christ rules all wars will cease
Smash our swords, make them farming tools
Justice rolls like water into pools
Lame folk take a dip and walk again
Touch their eyes and blind folk see again
See the King for who he really is
Word and Love made flesh and that there is
Room for all in God's great plan
Every woman, boy, girl, and man

This ain't no ordinary king. At the beginning of Holy Week, the Prince of Peace rides in on a donkey. The ruler of the Roman Empire rides in on a horse. One crowd waves palm branches, one crowd wields swords.

This is a week about conflict, a week about a clash of values. On the one hand is the Roman Empire with its trickle-down oppression, abject poverty, and warped priorities. The poor get poorer due to heavy taxes for roads, weapons, and a large defense budget ― all designed to crush opposition and create more empire.

On the other hand, the Kingdom of God, in which children matter and are cherished and kept safe. This is a place where our elderly and vulnerable are protected. Where love is an action, where justice is a norm, and where everyone has enough. Where all love can result in marriage in the eyes of the state and in the eyes of the church. The Kingdom of God is too good. But true.

Today, we still live with a clash of values. And those of us who love God can't pretend we have all the answers. When in doubt, we live by the clarifying words of Jesus: Love God with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself. When you don't know what to do, you love.

And as we love, we may need to let some things die. So we can get to new life. I hope our apathy dies. I hope our sense of powerlessness dies. I hope our notion that religion is only about personal piety and not about political action dies.

I hope we get really clear that we are not free until everyone is free.