When I was a child Palm Sunday was, well, Palm Sunday. Palms, hosannas, joyous music, a sort of mini-Easter.
But somewhere along the way Palm Sunday became Palm/ Passion Sunday. We began with the palms, hosanna and children singing cheerful songs to Jesus, but before long we were into betrayal and Christ’s death on the cross.
That made Palm Sunday seem like a Trojan Horse, a bait and switch device, which looked like fun and games until you unpacked it. When you did, the upbeat turned downbeat, and the major key broke into minor. Instead of being part of the cheering crowd that was on Jesus’ side, shouting, “Go Jesus! Ride ’em!” — we found ourselves part of the crowd that shouted, “Crucify him, Crucify him.”
This was confusing.
But it was something besides confusing. It was true. We aren’t just the virtuous heroes, the good guys cheering Jesus on. We have a part in the mess, in the awful event. But seeing that painful truth — our part in the mess and owning it — helps us to see something else — that God’s mercy and forgiveness are poured out for all of us.
When the hosannas of Palm Sunday have faded, praise for God’s unending love and mercy is the song that keeps on singing.
Blessings and peace,
Pastor Laurie (421-2646) firstname.lastname@example.org