John Klassen spoke about the endings of two accounts of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Luke 19:43-44 ends with “your enemies will … crush you to the ground … because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.” How does one recognize the time of God’s coming? John recounted 4 stories of people who left behind traces of their contact with God:
1.Clovis, King of the Franks (c. 466-511) was a warrior who converted to Christianity at the prompting of his wife, Clotilde of Burgundy. Despite his the death of his infant child shortly after baptism, Clovis shifted the source of his strength from his long hair & charisma to God’s holiness.
2.An anonymous widower in Wittislingen, Germany left behind a silver broach in the grave of his departed wife, enscribed with “May Uffila, snatched blamelessly by Death, live happily in God.”
3.An anonymous monk in the 9th century known as the “Saxon Saviour” paraphrased the Gospel of Mark into poetic local language (The Heliand) so that Germanic pagans could be converted without having to be defeated militarily by the campaigns of Charlemagne (Charles the Great).
4.A 16th century nun, Saint Teresa of Ávila, wrote in her autobiography that during a difficult journey she heard Jesus say to her, “this is how I treat ones who want to be my close friends.”
The closing words of Luke’s account and John’s form a conversation: your enemies may surround you, but the words of Jesus in John 12 were “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”