By Rev. Marya DeCarlen

The liturgy for Palm Sunday was created for those who worship, so that we feel a range of emotions, all found in two separate processions.

The first procession to Jerusalem is filled with joy and exultation as we wave our palms and shout joyously, “Hosanna (save us) to the King of Kings!”

We step into the shoes, for a moment, of those who await the promise of hope as Jesus reveals all that is possible with God: peace, love, redemption.

The next procession to Golgotha is brimming with fear and anger as the joy-filled followers
drastically change their tune and lead with shouts of threats rebellion and hostility.

Jesus had a history of summoning his followers to live beyond their routines and live deeper offering forgiveness, mercy, and generosity.

This time, engulfed by fear for their own safety and expectations for his “kingship” that he did not meet, they refused bitterly and raged against him.

In this procession even his close friends would not stand up to defend him and joined in the march to his tortuous death.

Millennia later, we want to follow Jesus and not be complicit but often we are. Palm Sunday uncovers this tender truth and invites us once again to follow Christ.

I am reminded of one of my favorite Desmond Tutu quotes:

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."

May we pledge to stand firm in Jesus’ way of love and peace while not falling into the temptation of silence when we hear or see small or large injustices. 

Peace with palms and passion,


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