What kind of day is Palm Sunday?

It’s the observance of a tragedy. It’s not a day of simple optimism. We know all about optimism; we’ve tried to be optimistic while the various countries of the world, including our own, position for war. We’ve tried to be optimistic while our government is falling apart and lacks the moral leadership to dig us out of this hole.
Palm Sunday is the observance of a tragedy, but not a day of despair.

Palm Sunday is one bright and glorious moment in human history when we proclaim the courage and the integrity of God in Christ. Palm Sunday isn’t a day when we throw up our hands because Jesus was killed. It’s not a day of pessimism when we condemn the people of the first century, the crowds which later became ugly. It’s not a day when we get morose over the money changers in the temple and declare that nothing ever turns out well.

Palm Sunday, rather, is a day when knowing…

  • People are fickle and get tired of parades and go home
  • Religious leaders like things neat and tidy and kill reformers
  • The humble truth teller is walked upon
  • People will sell their souls for a handful of silver
  • Even good friends will sleep while we suffer

Knowing all of this, Jesus still came riding into town.

Palm Sunday is a bright and glorious day when love turned into courage and integrity and became a small parade headed for the gallows. It’s the day that Jesus the Christ, knowing the facts of life – the truth about our person, and the truth of what we do when we get together – knowing all this Jesus loving does what he is called to do, and does it without bitter and ill feeling towards us. It’s so tragic that it had to come to this. It’s so tragic that God had to do that for us.

Palm Sunday is a tragedy, but a tragedy worth celebrating.  

Shalom, Paul