Episcopalians love processions! Today is one of those very traditional procession days. In fact, it seems that almost any Christian gathering today might begin with a procession. Today is Palm Sunday, the day we celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, just prior to His death. (The biblical account of Palm Sunday can be found in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19). The crowds greet Jesus with waving palms, and by covering His path with palm branches. Immediately following this great time of celebration in His ministry, Jesus begins his journey to the cross.
If you read my words here regularly, you will recall that I said a couple of days ago that today is a mixed bag liturgically speaking. You might all it split personality Sunday. There is great joy as Jesus enters Jerusalem, but the same crowd that was cheering during the parade was jeering Jesus just a few days later. These are the folks who had been wowed by his sermons, healed of their diseases, fed with loaves and fishes, delivered of their demons and had been crying out Hosanna!” We can all relate to what happened next though. When the tide began to turn, so did followers of Jesus. Their cries quickly turned to shouts of “Crucify him!”
In Saint John’s account he hear “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord - the King of Israel!" There was great joy! Even though we know what happened next, we should hold fast to that joy, because the Passion of Our Lord and His crucifixion lead of course to His glorious resurrection. (More on that as we approach Good Friday and Easter). Perhaps on way to meditate on this beginning of Holy Week is to look back at the Stations of the Cross that I posted here yesterday, and walk the Way with Jesus.