What is true success?

This is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves. The way we live our lives reveals our answer. For most of us, the answer swirls in our unconscious mind, shaping our priorities and motivating our choices, but we never actually speak it. We’re too preoccupied with our daily challenges to realize that how we answer this question can bring us joy or overwhelm us with sorrow.

Palm Sunday offers us a unique perspective on the true meaning of success. The cheering crowd saw Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as his crowning achievement. To them Palm Sunday was his pinnacle of popularity, his last best chance to seize power and take revenge on their enemies. But because the crowd’s understanding of success was flawed, they suffered a crushing disappointment when he was arrested on Thursday and crucified on Friday.

The events of Palm Sunday and Holy Week speak to us with transforming relevance. Should our goal in life be to have thousands of people cheer us? Does having wealth and power mean we’re successful? Or is true success about something else entirely?

We’ll come together this Sunday and search for answers in light of Jesus’ experience. As we celebrate his triumphal entry at the beginning of Holy Week, it’s fitting that we ask the toughest question of all: How does God define success? When we answer this question from the perspective of the greatest story ever told, our lives will never be the same.

In faith, hope, and love,

Evan Howard