THEME: Hosanna, Crucify Him
This last Sunday in Lent heralds the triumphal entry into Jerusalem with Jesus the liberator. This Sunday also ushers in the beginning of Holy Week and what feels like defeat as we face the consequences of standing up to unjust authority.
Hosanna – means, “Save us”
Saved from what?
Saved for what?
We join the crowds shouting, “Save us” but do we want to be saved from without (from poverty, oppression, etc) or saved from within (self delusion, jealousy, greed, victimhood, power and control seeking, fear)?
We must be able to answer these questions or at least explore them if we hope to speak about Jesus.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest!
How does Jesus show his power: “Lordship, indeed even messianic lordship, is here defined in terms of servanthood. Gentleness, humility, peaceableness, mercy, and self-giving acts of generosity and compassion are marks of God’s domain.”
Two Processions: Pilate from Jaffa Gate and Jesus from Galilee
Kingdom of God vs Empire of Rome
While it is difficult to move so quickly from joy to sorrow, a good symbol can help us make this transition.
The palms that are waved at the beginning of the service become the sign of our “letting go” into the sorrow of the events of the week to come.
The stage is set for the week.
Encouraged by the steadfast love of God expressed in the scriptures, this is a Sunday to stand up together with Jesus even in the face of adversity.