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The desert wind is blowing lightly through the palm tree fronds this Sunday, Palm Sunday by the western churches calendar. The weather carried on the wind is sunny and increasingly warm. Two thousand years ago, on the first Palm Sunday, the fickle crowd swayed in favor of a promised prince of peace, a ruler to set things right. Within the week, the wind shifted again, bringing darkness to match men’s hearts and death to set things right.
Years ago, I caught a moment with a rainbow set in a dark sky over the palm trees planted in an Arizona desert city. I thought of it the evening before Palm Sunday and dug it out of the archives. The rainbow calls to mind Noah and the Great Flood, when the Sovereign of the universe was so offended that he used water to wash away almost all of life on Earth. Yet, He chose one righteous man and his extended family, along with a population of birds and beasts, to weather the cataclysm. No sooner had the flood waters receded and the ark emptied, with Noah leading sacrificial thanks, then the Lord said: