Monday, April 11, 2011

Looking Ahead to April 17, 2011 -- Palm Sunday

The Scripture Readings for this week are:
  • Zechariah 9:9-13
  • Matthew 21:1-11

The Sermon title is Here Comes the King!??!

Early Thoughts: Cheering crowds and waving branches and a carpet on which to ride. Surely this is a coronation procession of some sort. Right?

Well maybe.  And maybe not.  And maybe it depends on your point of view.

As the story is told it has all the hallmarks of a triumph.  We have cheering crowds, we have echos of royal processions as described in the Jewish Scriptures.  And yet there is a shadow over the whole scene.

Some portray the entry into Jerusalem as an intentional act of political street theatre, a deliberate challenge to the authorities.  SOme view it as what we have been taught in Sunday School--the entry of a king.  Some view it as sort of an accident -- something that got bigger than intended.

THis week we remember the story of the entry.  But we also remember that if this is a kingly procession it is an altogether different king.  And it lead to a very strange coronation ceremony.  Between the triumph of this week and the bright light of next Sunday will come the time of testing and the falling of darkness.  We have to remember the shadow that is starting to fall even as we wave the palm branches and sing the Hosannas.

Here comes the King?  Maybe.  Depends on where you stand.

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