Don’t get me wrong, I love Palm Sunday. I love the story. I love the music. I love the palms. But I suppose that it is precisely because I love all those things that I have been fretting about this day getting here. After all, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, and this year’s Holy Week will be unlike any most of us have ever experienced before. There are no palm waving processionals planned for this morning, no organ belting out “All Glory Laud and Honor,” no community worship services or Good Friday vigils or Easter sunrise at the pier in the days ahead. I suppose Palm Sunday’s arrival just makes it all feel real. Like Annie wrote last week, it all makes me a little sad.
And yet it is the Palm Sunday story itself that gives me — and I hope all of us — the strength and faith to persevere in the face of this new normal. You see, Jesus knows exactly what it is he is heading towards as he takes that final step in his journey to Jerusalem down the Mount of Olives. Even as the crowds shout their adulations and lay their cloaks at his feet, he understands that what is awaiting him in Jerusalem is humiliation, betrayal, rejection, and ultimately death. But rather than trying to do what we might do in that situation (I dunno, jump off the donkey and run the other direction, maybe?), he chooses instead to go straight towards it.
Yesterday, someone sent me the picture above of a small homemade sign that popped up at the airport traffic circle on the island. It says, “We got this.” I like that. We
got this. But Palm Sunday should be our reminder that “we got this” not because of anything we have done or are capable of doing on our own. No, instead, we got this because the God we meet in Jesus Christ is the One who faces times like these — days full of disruption and uncertainty and angst — and
to go straight into it with us.
So blessings to you and yours on this Palm Sunday. We are grateful to Nat Scott for providing a reflection in today's liturgy, and to Rhonda Hambright and our music ministry for helping to provide the music we know and love and are accustomed to hearing on this holy day. Be sure to cut some fronds today. Pin them to your door. Tape them to your mailbox. Or just hold them for a moment in your hand and remember that you are not alone.* The journey to Jerusalem is nearly over and yet the journey has also just begun.
We got this,