April 03, 2006

Looking Ahead to April 9 -- Palm Sunday

The Scriptures will be:

The Hymns will be (all numbers refer to Voices United):
  • #123 Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
  • #646 We Are Walking (sung 3x, either language)
  • #117 Jesus Christ is Waiting
  • #127 Ride On! Ride On in Majesty (tune #20)

The Sermon title is: Taking to the Streets

Normally we think of the Palm Sunday story as a triumphant parade but maybe there is something else there. This year as I sat down to prepare for Palm Sunday I had a vision of a protest march.

Here is a parade that really is a protest against the Roman Imperial authorities. In the face of the Roman Legions (and the Jewish authorities set up to help keep the people in line) people are rejoicing at the arrival of a new king, a new kind of king. In this light I see the procession along the same lines as the civil rights marches of the 1960's, or the work of Gandhi in India, or the protests in Seattle and elsewhere against the World Trade Organization and globalization.

In all of those crowds were people with different ideas about how to bring on the new world. And so sometimes things got violent. But in the crowds on that day of palm branches there were people who thought this would bring on a revolution. The reality is that we are called to protest, called to the streets, not violently but non-violently. This Palm Sunday we are still called to shout "Save Us!" (Hosanna) and to announce the coming of a new way of being in the world.


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