My friend Catherine wrote this thought-provoking piece about the parents and children who waved palms in Jerusalem. I thought it was neat to take a moment to think about what their allegiance to King Jesus meant in their time and place and to reflect on whether we would have been as brave.
Thank you for this. It is a little too political for my taste. This is still my most favorite commentary on Palm Sunday. It was not just children who were cheering on the King - all of Heaven was.
Best Wishes, Shawn
I think we often lose sight of the fact that declaring “Jesus is Lord” during the reign of Caesar was a political act.
That is a powerful piece. It was a tumultuous time, and it is interesting to try to put ourselves in the sandals of those living then. Our service was a little different at our church. Being Baptist, it is not very liturgical, and we do not have a Good Friday service, but the pastor does a good job at trying to bring in some of the traditions. He preached from Mark, which ends at the tomb, with uncertainty, grief and confusion concluding the book, then we took communion in silence and left in silence with no concluding remarks. A bit unsettling.
I would go so far to say that it was primarily political, at least in the minds of the people waving the branches that day. They didn’t understand (yet) what sort of messiah Jesus was. And yes, it was treasonous. Saying “Jesus is Lord” back then is like saying “Jesus is my president*” now, and even more so.
*yes, I’m Canadian but I’m accommodating to my American friends here. “Jesus is my Prime Minister” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Though there was no separation of church and state and politics was often synonymous with religion, and political leaders were considered deities or at least god-like in many states. So probably it is imposing a false dichotomy to think that the political/religious thing was an either/or.
Very good point, especially in an occupied theocracy (as Israel was at the time).
Maybe I’ll rephrase my thoughts to say the event is more in line with what we would think of as political, in contrast to our usual “spiritualizing” of the event as evangelicals.