Coming to the City Nearest You

 Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the city nearest you.

Jesus comes to the gate, to the synagogue,

to houses prepared for wedding parties,

to the pools where people wait to be healed,

to the temple where lambs are sold,

to gardens, beautiful in the moonlight. 

He comes to the governor’s palace.


Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the city nearest you,

to new subdivisions and trailer parks,

to penthouses and basement apartments,

to the factory, the hospital and the Cineplex,

to the big box outlet centre and to churches,

with the same old same old message,

unchanged from the beginning of time.


Jesus comes to Jerusalem,

the city nearest you with his Good News and…

Hope erupts! Joy springs forth!

The very stones cry out,

“Hosanna in the highest,

blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

The crowds jostle and push, they can’t get close enough!

People running alongside flinging down their coats before him!

Jesus, the parade marshal, waving, smiling.  

The paparazzi elbow for room,

looking for that perfect picture for the headline,

“The Man Who Would Be King”.


Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the city nearest you

and gets the red carpet treatment.

Children waving real palm branches from the florist,

silk palm branches from Wal-mart,

palms made from green construction paper.

Hosannas ringing in churches, chapels, cathedrals,

in monasteries, basilicas and tent-meetings.

King Jesus, honored in a thousand hymns

in Canada, Cameroon, Calcutta and Canberra.

We LOVE this great big powerful capital K King Jesus

coming in glory and splendor and majesty and awe and power and might.


Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the city nearest you.

Kingly, he takes a towel and washes feet.

With majesty, he serves bread and wine.

With honour, he prays all night.

With power, he puts on chains.

Jesus, King of all creation, appears in state

in the eyes of the prisoner, the AIDS orphan, the crack addict,

asking for one cup of cold water,

one coat shared with someone who has none,

one heart, yours,

and a second mile.

Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the city nearest you.

Can you see him?

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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