“As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” (Luke 19:37–38)

Jesus’ coming is what we celebrate in Advent, though perhaps such a message tends to get lost in all the activities of this season, not just family activities and shopping, but church activities as well. The church calendar seems so full with things to do that why we celebrate may be overlooked. Jesus came into the world as a human baby to save us from our sins.

This is why we have this reading for the first Sunday of Advent concerning something we usually read in the season of Lent, Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This reminds us His mission and purpose. On that day the crowds welcomed Him with great zeal, waving branches of palm on a victory parade. The victory would be Jesus being crucified to conquer sin, death and Satan, not something that was in the minds of the people or even the disciples. They wanted to make Jesus their King. They wanted Him to overthrow the Roman Empire and reestablish the Kingdom of David, the new Israel. That is why everyone proclaimed Him and shouted praises. Yet even though the crowds greeted Jesus as their king, their zeal and enthusiasm did not last. He was only their “King for a Day” for later that week Jesus was arrested, beaten, tried, and crucified.

Jesus wants to be the ruler and Lord of our life. He doesn’t want to be our “King for a Day,” he wants to be our eternal King. And that means we have to serve Him and do things His way, not ours. So we can shout and sing all we want but if we do not want to serve Him, if we do not want to surrender our lives to Him, then all the rest, rituals, celebrations, music, and pomp is meaningless. He, not us, is the center and focus of all the glory, honor and rejoicing. It His glory that fills us and raises us up.