Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end of our Lenten journey to the foot of the cross and onto the glorious dawn of Easter morning. It is a very holy pilgrimage indeed – set apart for the purposes of God and the followers of Christ to step from joy to pathos to joy again. This coming Sunday we begin with that ancient shout Hosanna which is a liturgical word of adoration that means “save us, we pray.”
In order to reenact Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with great joy we have ordered eco-friendly, green leafy palm branches and encourage all of our worshippers to take one into worship, to raise and wave them in joy while we sing “All Glory, Laud and Honor,” so that our worship space itself is filled with jubilation. At the 10 am service the congregation’s palm waving assures our children, who will be processing down the center aisle, that they are joined by a throng of joyful worshippers.
The Holy Week services that follow on Maundy Thursday’s celebration of the Lord’s Supper and Good Friday’s observance of the crucifixion, enact in word and deed, in song and silence, in ways beyond mere thought, how we embrace the most confounding mystery to which we Christians cling – that in the midst of death God bestows life.
The week ahead offers multiple occasions, and a range of emotions, to bring close to our hearts the great mystery of our faith – the revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ.