A psalm for Palm Sunday...

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(Tim) Back around 1985, Dad and Mud came up for the weekend to the small town in rural Wisconsin where Mary Lee and I were serving a yoked parish of two churches affiliated with the mainline PC(USA). Some years later, we voted to transfer into the PCA and changed our name to Grace Presbyterian Church.

As it happened, that Lord's Day was Palm Sunday and I was preaching on Jesus' Triumphal Entry. During the school year, the drill was Rosedale Presbyterian Church out in the countryside first, greeting the brothers and sisters of that godly congregation prior to worship. Then, worship over and the benediction given, I'd hop in the car and get to town just in time to give the call to worship in the town church.

Dad asked if he could go to the country church with me, so he sat under the first iteration of my Palm Sunday sermon. In the car on the way back into town, Dad handed me a small piece of paper with a poem scrawled out in the bright blue ink of his Lamy fountain pen, saying "This may help the conclusion of your sermon." Here's what he'd written:

A Psalm for Palm Sunday

King Jesus
why did you choose
a lowly ass
to carry you
to ride in your parade?
Had you no friend
who owned a horse
—a royal mount with spirit
fit for a king to ride?
Why choose an ass
small unassuming
beast of burden
trained to plow
not carry kings.

King Jesus
why did you choose
a lowly unimportant person
to bear you
in my world today?
I’m poor and unimportant
trained to work
not carry kings
—let alone the Kings of kings
and yet you’ve chosen me
to carry you in triumph
in this world’s parade.
King Jesus
Keep me small
so all may see
how great you are
keep me humble
so all may say
Blessed is he who cometh in the name
of the Lord
not what a great ass he rides.

-Joe Bayly