Mark 11:9-10 And those who went before and those who followed cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!"
Advent is the season when we prepare for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is a remarkable thing that God should become true man, just to bring to us salvation. It is remarkable that God should be born a little baby, but that is the way all men are born. It is remarkable, that God would sacrifice so much, just to save poor miserable sinners - but that's the wonder of God, he really does love us that much.
There are many ways one can prepare, you can prepare in fear, convinced you won't be ready, or properly prepared - we are after all, poor miserable sinners - but that is not what Advent is about - Advent is a time when we prepare in hope - our hope is the grace, mercy and love of God - our hope is in His promise that he will send a savior. That's why the church color is blue, to remind us that we prepare in hope.
Our text is about Advent hope, even if it comes from the gospel about Palm Sunday. You see, the people were waiting for a savior, they remembered the promise, and the hoped that as Jesus entered Jerusalem, he would at this time restore the kingdom to Israel and that this new kingdom would never end. It looked like this wold happen, the next day, Jesus cleansed the temple - surely that was a sign that the kingdom was coming - but there was not much hope on Good Friday, when Jesus was betrayed, beaten, crucified, and buried. This did not look like the beginning, but the end.
For 3 days, no one understood, then little by little they began to understand, they began to see that Jesus must die, so that he could conquer death, and on the 3rd day rise - and by this we know that God has accepted his sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, and that when we die, we too look forward in hope to our resurrection, and eternal life with God.
Where is the Advent hope? Why its right there in plain sight in the word "Hosanna!" Hosanna means "Lord, Save us now!" All the people were shouting Hosanna, but they neither understood what they were saying, or that God had heard this prayer, and was answering it in this way.
There are many people who wonder, if they will be ready for Christmas. Itís a silly thing to worry about, Christmas comes whether we are ready or not. People certainly weren't ready for the 1st Christmas, after all, there was no room in the inn - and yet Jesus came anyway, not because they were ready, but because God loves us, and God wants to be saved.
There is one more thing, to help us to understand about God, and his great love for us, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, he didn't enter with power, might or glory - but in humility, riding on a lowly donkey - so also when Jesus comes at Christmas, he does not come in glitz and glamour, but he comes in humility, as a little baby - God comes in approachable way, because he cares for us.
How much does God care for us? He cares enough to give us a new life in Baptism. He cares enough to give us forgiveness of sins in the Lord's Supper. He cares enough to give us His word, which tells us everything we need to know about salvation and holy living, and he has given us his spirit, to be with us always and to guide us into all truth. Jesus is the way we get ready for Christmas, we simply make room to receive his gifts.