Palm Sunday is today. I realize by even writing that I’ve either made you think “yeah, I know that” or “so what?” This post is meant for those of us who ask the latter question.
On the surface, the events of Palm Sunday seem more like a pep rally. “Hosanna! Blessings on the One who comes in the Name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-10 CEB)
I’ve heard worship leaders who turn this Sunday into a RAH RAH moment and shuddered (and perhaps you have too!) With almost sacrilegious fervor, they yell and shout, and encourage the congregation to respond the same way. There’s nothing wrong with shouts of praise, or dancing with joy. Really. But when it’s done in a moment of engineered emotion instead of spiritual passion, I am uncomfortable.
Why? Because I see how quickly the human heart turns from “Hosanna” on Sunday to “what the hell?” on Monday! How quickly the Scripture narrative turns from celebration to indifference, from commitment to rationalization. And this is a change that happens to all of us too quickly, and on a regular basis.
I think of my own spiritual journey. When I have come home from a retreat, flush with the joys of being in the Presence of God, it was far to easy to have an argument or respond selfishly instead of selflessly to someone. When I had a decision to make, I picked the option that caused me the least personal pain. Or when I was faced with the opportunity to make a public stand for Christ… I would weasel out of it.
My story is much like the disciples of Jesus’ time. Humanity hasn’t changed very much. But perhaps my response is because I am short-sighted. Like the Jesus’ followers, I have forgotten what the big picture is, or will be. One day we will ALL worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. One day we will see the reign of God in all its gloriousness.
Until then, this imperfect vessel will raise her hands and her voice and sing words of honest praise, imperfect though they may be: