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Monday, 16 March 2015

To follow the crowd or to do what is right?

In our year 6 assembly this morning we thought about the challenges that come our way when we are faced with decisions about how to behave or respond in a given situation. Interestingly our friends came up as one the biggest influences on the choices that we make. 'Peer pressure' was the word used to describe this and as we discussed this we agreed that this pressure didn't just come from our friends but from the world around us as a whole.

The pressure to conform, the pressure to go with the flow, to follow the example of others. The pressure to not stand out or to be different, to be influenced by the media and the need to find approval from others. All of these influence us.

In the crowd that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem, there were I am sure, some who just came along to see what was happening, maybe unclear of who this Jesus was. But I wonder how many were drawn into the celebrations, caught up in the euphoria of the moment and suddenly found themselves waving palm branches and shouting hosanna?

Likewise I am sure there were those who were part of a very different crowd that gathered before Pilate. Those who did not wish to see Jesus crucified and yet were either drawn into the shouts of 'crucify' and 'Barabbas' or were too intimidated by the animosity in the crowd to do anything but just keep quiet.

We all have choices to make and they are, at times difficult and challenging. One leadership Guru urges managers to 'keep the big picture in mind' when making decisions however difficult or unpopular they might be.

Jesus himself had to make a decision as he gathered with his disciples outside the walls of Jerusalem. To turn away and not enter the City or to push on towards a ' bigger picture' that he knew would bring his suffering and death.

As we approach our Easter assemblies and creative activities we will be considering what this 'bigger picture' was and why Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem. We will also be considering the daily challenges that we face everyday to make the right decision and not just to 'go with the crowd.'