I read a lot of stories.  Some are true and some are made up by the writers.  I read stories about magic and elephants and girls made out of cake.  I like to hear people tell stories or watch movies that have great stories.

Stories always tend to have the same kind of structure.  There is usually something exciting near the beginning to catch your interest.  Then there is some time to get to know more about the characters in the story.  Then there is a big conflict or problem.  Sometimes it’s something dangerous or scary or unexpected.  Finally – the best part – the happy ending!  Usually we see the problem get resolved and everyone is happy and healthy at the end.

So I think about one of my favourite stories, my favourite movie Aladdin.  Have you all seen this show?  There’s excitement at the beginning, some time to get to know him and the other characters and then the BIG problem – Jafar becomes the sultan.  Now what if the story stopped there?  What if Aladdin didn’t trick him into becoming a genie and save the whole country?  What if Jafar just went on being a terrible, mean ruler in that place?  NOT a very good ending to the story.  I might feel angry or sad if that was the end.

There is a story in the bible just like that.  Today we hear about the excitement of Jesus coming to town on Palm Sunday.  Over the course of the next week, we get to see the character development.  Jesus does foot washing for his friends, healing sick strangers, and shares the Last Supper with his disciples.  The BIG conflict – the big problem is that Jesus is killed.  He was nailed to a wooden cross and he died.  And for today, that’s where the story ends.  Almost like if Jafar became the sultan and then the DVD stopped playing.  What a sad and disappointing ending for Jesus to be dead.  But that is where we leave it today.

We know that’s not really the end… and we can look forward to that happy ending next Sunday!