Palm Sunday is a day of contrasts. We begin with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, with crowds shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” There is great excitement, great festivities surrounding his arrival. Our own procession from the parish hall into the church is a small reminder of that day. The mood shifts very quickly, as we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah about the one who was to come:
“I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.”
And the words of Paul, writing to the church in Philippae: “ Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross.”
And then we share in the reading of the Passion – the story of the betrayal, arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus. This year, the Passion is that from the Gospel of Matthew. You can find all of these readings here: http://www.lectionarypage.net.
And so we begin the journey through Holy Week: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Great Vigil of Easter, and then Easter Day. Each day has its own significance, its own importance, not just for the tradition of the story, but for the ways each part touches our own lives and experiences over 2000 years later. Sights, smells, sounds, memories, all converge to remind us of our deep connection with God and one another. See below for schedule to times and places.
May this be for each one of us a holy and blessed time.
Let us pray:
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing,