Palm Sunday’s fronds fan out from the Forsythia standing in a vase at the perch I call home. A few hours ago, we waved them, marching around the church singing, “All glory laud and honor to thee, Redeemer, King! To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.” Only my granddaughters weren’t singing, choosing instead to poke and duel each other with palm leaves from someplace faraway from Massachusetts.
Why fuss at them? It was a parade and neither kids nor grown-ups always do what’s expected, especially when part of a crowd. Probably not all that different from children at The Parade, tickling with palm fronds, while others cheered, waved and followed a man on a donkey as he clip-clopped down the cobbled streets of Jerusalem.
The Grands wiggled as we stood to listen to The Passion According to Matthew being read but came to attention when time for the congregation to shout, “Barabbas!” and “Crucify Him!”
Which is when we should’ve all squirmed.
Susan preached, asking,”What’s so threatening about Goodness?” That’s a good question to examine as we walk the Via Dolorosa during Holy Week.
Where am I in the Parade? the Garden? the Courtyard? the Trial? the Mob? the Cross? Where is Goodness?
The final hymn, O Sacred Head Now Wounded, lingers inside me.
“What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest Friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? “
No wonder we left the church in silence.
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I wonder if Jesus could enter the celebratory spirit of that day, knowing what was coming? Perhaps the sweet hosannas from the “little children” lightened his heart at least for awhile.
Sometimes, indeed, only silence speaks – silence in face of the cross and as children play.