We asked a lot of questions on Palm Sunday. Yes, we sang some celebratory songs. But we also remembered that “hosanna” was no shout of victory – it means “save us.” And while the crowd was crying “hosanna,” and welcoming Jesus, three of the four gospel accounts emphasize not the waving of palms, but the throwing of their cloaks – perhaps the only clothing they owned! – into the road. That was a sacrifice, and a dangerous one. Palms, a sign of victory, were not the primary symbol, and Jesus rode on a donkey, not a warhorse. He was not the conquering hero they had in mind. Clearly something else was going on.
Did they ever get their clothing back? In what condition was it? And what did the crowd do after the parade passed by? Pick up their dirty, trampled clothes and disappear back to their homes? We had clothing on the floor of the sanctuary and hanging from the communion table. After worship, it went into the Shelter Network basket. We were reminded that, after receiving Jesus, we don’t get to pick up our clothes and picket signs and go home. There is still too much work to do in this world for environmental justice; for peace, social change and equal rights; against human trafficking, disease and poverty. No, we don’t get to go home. We have to go to the cross first.
Have a blessed week. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday evening at 7pm as we recall Jesus’ last night with his disciples, and Sunday morning at 10am for all the “alleluias!” we can muster.