While I tried to keep the children as quiet as possible and engaged in activities that pointed their hearts to the reason for the Day, my ears were also tuned to the groups' prayers and praises uttered in Hindi. The men, mostly in their twenties and new believers, lifted their hands, bowed their bodies, beat the drum and the tambourine, lifted their voices, and whispered their prayers. In one chorus. Slightly off beat and off key, perhaps, but their hearts were joined.
And, as is the South Asian style, the leader of the group asked him if he would share the message. Though he had nothing prepared, he opened God's Word and broke the bread, feeding the hungry.
We read Luke 19. Then, he prompted the children and I to perform the story. Timidly, I suggested he encourage the men to act out the events. And so it began.
Characters were assigned. Palm branches gathered and distributed. "Jesus" returned with a goatee drawn on his chin and cloth draped on his shoulders.
The colt was tied up, the disciples obtained it, the owner questioning them then releasing his beast for the Master. Jesus sat upon the colt, walked through the city. The children and I lifted our voices, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" But we could barely be heard because of the men, though these young men did not shout. No. They did not say, "Hosanna". Perhaps it is because they were new believers, or because of cultural differences in worship or in drama. But what they did was better! What they did...it captured the essence and the heart of the message of Palm Sunday. The men sang! I did not understand the words, but they sang. They sang of Jesus, the King, the Savior, the One who has come and is coming! And there was joy! JOY!