Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reflections - Palm Sunday

Can you believe we are already almost through Lent?

This Sunday is Palm Sunday where we first celebrate  - and then begin the journey through Holy week.  The "palm" in Palm Sunday refers to the branches the crowd waved to celebrate Jesus coming to Jerusalem. 
This painting is called "Entry of Christ into Jerusalem "
(1320) by Pietro Lorenzett

It's also called Passion Sunday - with the word "passion" referring to Jesus' execution less than a week later.  

Who knows if some of the people celebrating Jesus' arrival were among the people that were later in the week demanding his crucifixion, but I am assuming some of them were. Jesus' situation changed very quickly. 

Can think about a time when things in your life changed as quickly?

Here's what I am thinking about his week:
Aren't we sometimes are guilty of the same things? Waving a celebrating and worshiping when we are happy and things are good - and then ignoring and not noticing God's presence other times? 

Maybe even blaming God when things are not going so well?
Or at least wondering, "God - where the heck are you?"

It's kinds of easy to judge those people who changed so quickly on Jesus - but to be fair they didn't know what would happen to Jesus next. I've been thinking that - even though I know the end of the story I have those times where I am waving palms on Sunday and ignoring God on Monday.

This week I am focusing on ways that I can - everyday - fully recognize God working in the world and my life - even on the days when I am not celebrating and definitely don't feel like waving palms. 

This year we are reading the Gospel writer Mark's version of the Palm Sunday story.

Read Mark 11: 1-11

Mark's words were meant to be read out loud to people who where followers and believers of Jesus - people that believed Jesus was the Son of God and who were trying to understand what it meant to be followers of a Lord who was crucified.

Try reading this passage out loud to yourself. Does it sound different or do you notice different things when read aloud? 

When I read it, I am struck by the obedience of the disciples and the joyous words of celebration of the people and I am thinking ahead to how quickly things change. But, as Pastor Vincent says "the only way through is through."  We need to move through Holy Week and through the sadness and pain of the crucifixion to get to the rest of the story.

Stay tuned... next week I'll be posting daily scripture readings to take us through Holy week.

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