March 11, 2008

Looking Ahead to March 16, 2008 -- Palm Sunday

The Scripture Readings this week are:

  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Zechariah 9:9-17
  • Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (VU p.837 Parts 1, 3, 4)
  • From the Letters of the Early Church: Philippians 2:5-11
  • From the Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11

The Hymns for this week are:

  • 123 Hosanna Loud Hosanna
  • 357 Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
  • 122 All Glory Laud and Honour
  • 127 Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!

The Sermon Title is A Story of Two Parades

Early Thoughts: Everybody loves a parade. But is this a parade of glory or a parade of humility?

The Palm Sunday story is those stories that we assume "everybody knows", since we tell it (and, to a degree, re-enact it) every year. But do we really? OR do we mis-read it?

In common thought the entry into Jerusalem was a grand triumphant demonstration. WE envision the majority of the population taking part. THe parallel in many minds is a Super Bowl or Stanley Cup Parade.

But it likely was smaller, less grandiose. And instead of shouts of praises the Hosannas were actually people crying out "Save us!" or Help us!". THink protest march rather than triumphal entry.

In their book The Last WeekMarcus Vorg and John Crossan suggest that there was indeed a triumphal entry taking place on the other side of the city. THat was Pilate and his entourage entering the city in a show of force to help keep the peace during Passover. THis parade would have included trumpets and war horses and shining armour. By contrast, our parade has voices, a donkey (or a donkey AND a colt according to Matthew), and rough cloaks. Our parade is not one of glory and triumph. Only in retrospect d we try to make it that.

COme this Sunday as we remember a parade and think about the difference between these two parades on different sides of the city. ANd in the back of ur minds will be a third parade. The one which grows out of the confrontation between the two parades on this day and leads to a hillside topped with an executioners cross.

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