Holy Asides
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April 10, 2014, 9:46 AM

Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord...


Liturgically speaking, I am rarely ever more conflicted than I am in the celebration of Palm Sunday as we enter into Holy Week. The Palm Sunday service typically consists of a brief 10-minute blast of triumph and celebration: gathering outside, blessing palms, singing psalms, and marching around the church in a grand procession, which is then immediately cut-off, as we look toward the crucifixion of Jesus and launch into the reading of the Passion narrative.

 

On the one hand, the question lingers: are we letting people off of the hook to not have to come to the Holy Week services and walk the final days of Jesus’ life leading up to his betrayal, arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday? But on the other, this radical shift is symbolic on just how quickly the people turned on Jesus. One minute they are claiming him as king, and shouting “Hosanna!”, and in just a few short days they declare, “We have no king but Caesar, crucify him, crucify him!” The gravity of that shift is eerily familiar to me as I go through my life struggling to be a shining light of the love and grace of Jesus, while so often hiding safely in the shadows of my soul. On Sunday morning we pray with great sincerity “thy kingdom come, thy will be done,” and by Sunday afternoon we have rejected that kingdom to pursue our own needs and desires, as everything else in life becomes way more important: money, jobs, yard work, sports, etc…

 

This year we are highlighting that radical shift, next year who can say? But either way, I pray that this Holy Week draws you closer to the love and power of God’s redeeming love and that on Easter Day, we come to celebrate the full extent of the joy of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.


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