A Parade of More than Palms
Think, for a moment, how you feel moments before a big event is about to take place. The day before starting a new job. The moments before a graduation. The time before moving to a new place. Take all the anxiety, excitement, worry, fear, and anticipation, mix it all together, multiply it by 10, and then I think we may have some approximation of what the Jesus and his friends felt before they entered Jerusalem (though their emotional stew probably included a very large measure of fear).
Jesus and his cohorts had traveled for many days to reach Jerusalem. Along the way they could feel the pressure building as they approached the spiritual and religious capital of their land. They did not know what to expect, but they all anticipated that Jesus would realize the crowning achievement of his mission. This meant, to most of them, the coming of the Kingdom of God, though they did not really know what that would look like. In preparation for their entry to the city they found a colt for Jesus to ride and they tried to prepare themselves for the unknown.
Palm Sunday is our recognition of this entrance into Jerusalem. I am sorry to say that much of the church's celebration of Palm Sunday is a poor reflection on the events of that day. Waving a few limp palm fonds and processing through the church does not even come close to the powerful emotional event of Jesus' parade into Jerusalem. In many ways, Palm Sunday is as important as Easter. As Jesus enters Jerusalem he starts the final steps to his arrest.
For our Lenten service I will not spend a lot of time explaining the day, instead we will experience the story through chants, readings and music. I hope you will join us as we begin the walk to the resurrection.
See you in church,