Monday, April 2, 2007

Washing Cloaks on Monday

Have you ever been in a parade? Maybe you marched in the band or rode on a float. When it was over, did you have a desolate feeling when you looked around at all the litter cluttering the streets? Did the streets seem lonely and different after the parade was over?

Monday in Holy Week seems to be one of those lonely days -- a day of let-down after an exciting event. The parade in which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Sunday had faded into history. But it was a memorable parade -- fit for a king. Saint Luke tells us that as Jesus rode along on the donkey, people along the parade route "kept spreading their cloaks on the road." The donkey walked on them. The people walked on them. The fabric of the cloaks was ground into the dirt and stressed on the rocks. This was an enormous sacrifice, but they were proclaiming Jesus as their King.

Cloaks were precious, and chances are that the owners had only that one cloak. Jesus unwittingly healed a woman who "came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak" (Mark 5:27). People in those days could use their cloaks as collateral for loans, but the lender was not allowed to keep a poor man's cloak overnight. That's because the person might need it for a blanket. It would be his only covering to ward off the chill of the desert darkness.

Maybe this is the reason Monday in Holy Week seems so desolate and forlorn. The crowd has disappeared. Perhaps they are at some water source washing their cloaks. They will be back in the picture on Friday.

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

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