The Sunday, known as Palm-Passion Sunday, has twin emphases. The first is Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem with Hosannas and palms during which he is hailed as the long awaited one, the King - clearly a zenith moment. Over the course of Holy Week, the emphasis shifts dramatically and we hear notes of fear, anger, and betrayal - all culminating in the nadir of crucifixion.
It is tempting to focus on just one or the other, but we do need, for our own soul's health, to hold to both because this reflects our human experience in the fullness of longing, pain and joy. James W. Farwell writes " We both desire and resist God’s movement toward us – a movement that brings us blessing and life, but costs not less than everything, and we remain ambivalent about this. Yet it is to us – these ambivalent creatures longing for union with the One by whom we are united with our Creator, yet fiercely determined to make our way with the very freedom the Creator grants us – it is to us that God in Christ comes with a fierce love as king, as servant, as reconciler, as a robber of the tombs into which we fall, and as bread."
It is this same Jesus Christ we celebrate on Sunday next. Be sure to join us as we sing "Hosanna" and then shout, "Crucify." It can be a heart rending experience and one that readies us for Easter Day like nothing else. JTCO
(The marvelous painting above is the Entry into Jerusalem by P. Lorenzetti - 1320. The buildings depicted are in Assisi, Italy.)