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Archive for April, 2011

palm sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, the day that we celebrate Jesus entrance into Jerusalem and the beginning of his journey to crucifixion on the cross. I haven’t done a great job observing Lent this year but my church service this morning was simply amazing. We gathered in the courtyard outside the church for the blessing of the palm branches and for a processional around the block and into the church. Before tonight, I don’t know that I had ever really realized how profound it is to worship God as publicly as the people did when Jesus entered the city.

In her writing about Holy Week, Egeria gives a vivid and beautiful picture of Holy Week as it was shortly after Jesus ascension into heaven.

And as the eleventh hour approaches, the passage from the Gospel is read, where the children, carrying branches and palms, met the Lord, saying; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, and the bishop immediately rises, and all the people with him, and they all go on foot from the top of the Mount of Olives, all the people going before him with hymns and antiphons, answering one to another: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

And all the children in the neighbourhood, even those who are too young to walk, are carried by their parents on their shoulders, all of them bearing branches, some of palms and some of olives, and thus the bishop is escorted in the same manner as the Lord was of old.

Taking part in the liturgy of Palm Sunday really just brought Holy Week alive for me. It is just amazing to think that we are called to worship a God who walked the earth in the form of a man. A man who suffered persecution and execution all for the sake of God’s plan. This is indeed a beautiful picture, although I can’t help but think about the tragedy of it all. There are people today who suffer in many of the same ways. Perhaps Jesus suffering would be so much more real to us if we were to truly experience persecution, or at least talk to someone who has.

It is Holy Week and I don’t really know how to feel about it.

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