Scripture: Mark 11:1-11
Key verses: (8-11) 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple
Reflection: Growing up just outside of New Orleans, I have participated in a few funerals that were accompanied by a jazz parade. The jazz funeral celebrates life at the moment of death and ushers in the deceased with music, dance and even joyous laughter. A funeral is an unlikely source for a festive tradition and it invites people to see and live in the world in a new way. The second line musicians lead this tradition and challenge all that we know about funerals, the dominant social order and the expected.
Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem was like a jazz funeral, challenging the expected. We have shouted “Hosanna” so often with the crowd on Palm Sunday that we no longer glimpse the subversive nature of this parade. Jesus rode on a donkey, which princes rode when they wanted to signify peace. Did the crowd know to whom they were addressing as they shouted “hosanna”? In Mark, the crowd is blessing Jesus as “the one who comes in the name of the Lord,” heir to the throne and not the one who brings peace.
Jesus is inviting the crowd, and us, to see and live in this world in a new way. Jesus entered Jerusalem lamenting their inability to understand the way of peace but he continued with the parade. His life and ministry was not about the expected, but about a love so great that even death could not destroy it.
Prayer: God, help me to rely on love, your love, to be my guide and my understanding today. In the name of the one who continues to disorient and reorient. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].