-Rev Melissa Fain-
8 Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. “Who is this?” they asked. 11 The crowds answered, “It’s the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Matthew 21: 8-11 CEB
I used to love Palm Sunday. It was my third favorite day of the Christian year. It was a chance for me, a lowly child, to be part of the worship. With fanfare, I'd get to wave my palm frond to the congregation and place it at the Communion table. I loved seeing Jesus as a celebration. I loved seeing everyone smile.
Then I grew up and learned a few things about the Bible. Palm Sunday is less like a birthday party, and more like a death march. Yes, everyone is celebrating, but that celebration is a farce.
Palm Sunday is a day we joyfully throw palms and coats down for our Lord and Savior just to march him to his death. We yell out "Hosanna," not realizing that while we think it means "Praise him," we are also yelling, "Save us!" (The link will take you to the meaning behind the word Hosanna, and why it's important to keep it in Hebrew rather than translate it.)
As an adult, this scripture is scary. It shakes me to my core. It is a realization that society will go into war with joy and singing. We will seek murder with a smile on our face. We are being told to stay out of the marsh, but we are going into that marsh! (That last one is a Monster Mansion reference btw.)
Now's the time to shift the focus. Now's the time to know why we are here. We are not singing "Praise Him." We are headed down a dangerous road. Yes, there is a celebration, but first their's torture and death. A hanging boy. We need to start next week knowing we used Hosanna to say, "Save us." Save us all. God is a Hosanna.
Let us Pray:
Dear Lord, give me the first step, so I have the courage to walk the rest of the way. Amen.