Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Palm Sunday Fears and our Need for Easter

Palm Sunday Reflection 2010
However our Lenten Journey goes, it always leads us to the cross. And though the 40 days grow long, it is on Palm Sunday that we pause with proclamations of Hosanna to be renewed as we enter into the final days before we remember the crucifixion and resurrection. I wasn’t always comfortable with this pause or the proclamation.
Growing up, I never enjoyed Palm Sunday—it seemed a sham. Why were we joining with those who in ages past were the first to shout Hosanna and then turn so quickly to shout, Crucify Him? But now I see that though I do not join in their shouting, I know what it is to have a fickle heart.
A heart gluttonous in the midst of fasting.
A heart doubtful in the season of prayer.
A heart miserly in the time of alms-giving.
But rather than give up on the spiritual disciplines of Lent, this is the very reason we enter into these practices. In our struggle, we allow the Spirit to convict and understand our need for His Death and Resurrection anew. We remember it is His Grace that saves and through this stumbling, we grow.
My Palm Sunday fears of hypocrisy dissipated when I learned of the church’s beautiful tradition for the palm branches used on this day.  Beginning in the twelfth century, the palm branches from this service are burned to be used as the ashes for imposition the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.   On Ash Wednesday we are invited to enter into a Holy Lent, with the reminder of our mortality and sin, but also of our attempts to praise Him crossed on our foreheads.
All we offer is but ash. It is His Grace which turns it into Praise.
And so to should we remember the meaning of this word “Hosanna.” Yes, it is used as a shout of praise, but the original meaning is “Save us, please,” implying our great need.
Therefore this Sunday, it will be with joy that I, broken yet redeemed, will lift my palm branch high with those around me and join in the shout: Hosanna, Hosanna, Praise to the King of Kings. Hosanna, Hosanna, Save us, please.
For those Celebrating at Home:
The Scripture:
The Liturgy of the Palms
Luke 19:28-40
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

The Liturgy of the Word
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16

Philippians 2:5-11

Luke 22:14-23:56
or Luke 23:1-49

For a deeper understanding of the significance of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, it is helpful to walk through the Old Testament Scriptures as well.
The Collect: Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 Our Celebration in 2007:

We look forward to a special meal with friends this Sunday too!


Rosario said...

Awesome post. Thanks for sharing the meaning of Hosanna. Yes, Indeed Jesus is our Savior.

Amy said...

Thanks for stopping by. A blessed Palm Sunday!


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