Palm Sunday in the Christian tradition is spectacular theater in so many ways. Defiance against an empirical regime who would allow no other king than Caesar. Rebellion against a religious regime that would have no other authority than themselves. Challenge towards a people whose worship was given to many things from self to society.
Palms waved, branches laid
Hearts lifted, hopes persisted
Responses singing, hillsides ringing
A road made of clothing
Hosanna in the highest
Jesus rides upon a donkey, the donkey rides upon the cloaks of the people, the people shout with words of hope that will soon reveal they were mixed with doubt. The Sadu Sundar Singh would remind us that all honor goes to Christ, and when we begin to believe our own press we would be wise to remember our role is to hold up, lift up and point people to Jesus:
“When Jesus entered Jerusalem the people spread their clothes in the way and strewed branches before Him in order to do Him honour. Jesus rode upon an ass, according to the word of the prophet. His feet did not touch the road which was decorated in His honour. It was the ass which trod upon the garments and the branches. But the ass would have been very foolish to have been uplifted on that account; for the road really was not decked in its honour! It would be just as foolish if those who bear Christ to men were to think anything of themselves because of what men do to them for the sake of Jesus.
~Sadhu Sundar Singh
Palm Sunday reminds me that it is always about Jesus…
My best is still beneath the branches, beneath the clothing, beneath the donkey…
Beneath the branches, beneath the clothing is a powerful space to dwell in. Free from the need to perform. Free from the pressure of being more than I know I am. Free to be a pilgrim on a journey that simply acknowledges the incarnation of God in our midst.
I am not even the donkey. I am not even the branches. I am not even the clothing…
YET, He calls me His own, His treasured possession He calls me His son, His daughter. He lavishes me with love and gifts. He knows I might cry crucify, yet He loves me anyway.
May our shouts of Hosanna be free from agenda. the agenda to use Jesus to our own ends. Jesus belongs to no one and everyone. He is no ones poster-boy but He is everyone’s savior. Some shouted Hosanna because they wanted Jesus to be their political poster boy and reestablish the dominance of Israel. Some wanted Him to be their healing poster-boy so they waved branches hoping for a touch from the miracle worker. Some wanted Him to establish His religious influence so that they could be in charge.
Jesus alone new His mission…
Jesus alone didn’t allow all the shouts of Hosanna to sidetrack Him from His calling…
Jesus alone would stay faithful to His purpose while everyone else was committed to their agenda.
May our shouts of Hosanna be free from agenda
May we receive with joy the humility to be beneath the branches, beneath the clothing, beneath the donkey.