Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

Coastal Georgia does not lack for beautiful palms. Here you can find everything from tall palm trees to other varieties closer to the ground. On this sunny Palm Sunday, churches in our area have only to look in their own back yards for decorations.

I have Saw Palmettos growing close to my house. Since I have not lived here through an entire summer, I was in for some words of warning from a neighbor. He said, "Watch out for snakes harboring in those palms at the corner of your porch. Just give the snakes a wide berth and maybe they won't bother you." This gave me a heightened awareness that there might be something in those palms that would bite me.

On the first Palm Sunday, there was something in those palms that would come back and bite Jesus. When he rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, as scripture tells us:

Many people spread their cloaks on the road,
and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.
Those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
(Mark 11:8-10)

During Jesus' time on earth, one quick way to get into trouble with the authorities was to get yourself proclaimed king. The first time Jesus was proclaimed king he was a newborn infant -- Where is he that is born the King of the Jews? Jesus, Mary and Joseph made a narrow escape into Egypt. This time, Jesus intentionally rode into Jerusalem as King, and his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. What the people were proclaiming about Jesus was true, but that would also be the snake in the Palm branches that would come back and bite him on Good Friday.

Pastor Linda
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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