Maybe some of my more studious friends out there can tell me when Palm Sunday got mashed together with the Sunday of the Passion, but it all seems very odd to me. In the course of about 30 minutes we go from shouting hosannas and processing around the block in a glorious remembrance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to recalling with the Gospel writers those minutes that seemed so final as Jesus breathed his last and gave up his spirit.
Is it because people aren’t attending as many Holy Week services that this is the case? Or has it happened since the beginning? It all seems very schizophrenic… perhaps bipolar is a better term… as we run through Holy Week in the time it takes Domino’s to deliver a pizza. As I pray over these texts this week I’m wondering if I might not be called to preach on the Gospel lesson from the Liturgy of the Palms. Shouldn’t we spend at least a couple of minutes pondering the complexities of our savior who came not to be served but to serve riding in a royal procession the Sunday before the Passover? Isn’t there a lot to say about Jerusalem being “a city in turmoil” as they struggled to discern who this man was; for he certainly was not Pilate. What about the shouts of those on the parade route, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” What should we make of all of that? What does it mean to us in 21st century America? What can we learn about Jesus and what he came to do by the shouts of the crowd?
I doubt I’ll actually do it. This week is too hectic. I’m too far away from routine. I’m not sure I can pull it off. I probably need something more comfortable. For today, however, I’m thinking that Palm Sunday should be about Palm Sunday and we can save the Passion for its rightful place on Good Friday.