Palm Sunday confused me as a child. I knew it was before an important holiday, but I couldn’t figure out which one. Was it the week before Christmas or Easter? How could you have a parade for someone who wasn’t born? Then again why would you shout “Hosanna” to someone you were going to kill? Read the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in Matt 21:1-11.
Today I’m old enough to remember that Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter. But the mystery still remains. Joy and sorrow are mingled. Hope, fear, and loss intersect as we enter into holy week. Why do we as participants in the crowds of life shout “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” one day and then deny Jesus with our words and actions hours later? Who is this Jesus who gave everything for the world?
The power of Jesus’ walk to the cross was not only an event that happened thousands of years ago. We retell the story over and over because Jesus death and resurrection is OUR story too. One of my favorite writers Rev David Lose says it so well:
“This is Jesus, the One we confess died not in order to make it possible for God to love us but rather to demonstrate that God already does love us and that God’s love is our only hope.
This is Jesus, the one we proclaim each week as messiah and lord, source of hope and healing.
This is Jesus, the paradigm of God’s action in the world, whose story comes to a climax this week in order that our story might begin anew and afresh with the hope and promise of a good ending.”
Here are some ways to enter into this holiest of all weeks as we remember and celebrate the One who is our only hope.
- Watch this fun and thought provoking video about Palm Sunday by the Skit Guys: Watch it again with a youth or a friend.
- Join your faith community for Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday worship. There is an egg hunt, story time, and lunch for kids and families following Good Shepherd’s 10:30 am worship service. Plan to worship on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday too.
- Read the stories of Holy week from a children’s Bible or the Message Bible (Matt 21,26-28) to see the story with fresh eyes. Read it with a child or young adult.
- Check out David Lose’s blog page called: In the Meantime: Where Faith Meets Every Day Life http://www.davidlose.net/