Welcome to the sixth week of Lent. Some congregations will treat this Sunday as Palm Sunday, while others will recognize it as Passion Sunday. There are lectionary selections for both of these options.
For Palm Sunday the lectionary selections include: Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16 and Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29. For Passion Sunday, the lectionary selections include: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11 and Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-39, (40-47).
From Mark 11:2, 7-9 – …and [Jesus] said to [two of his disciples], “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it…Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is a far cry from the heinous death he is to suffer in a few days when the people shout “Give us Barabbas,” saving the life of a criminal over that of Jesus. If Jesus were among us today, would we give him honor, or would we see him as a radical? Would we be scared of his controversial views on religion, on love of neighbors, on love of enemies? Would we shout “Give us Barabbas?”
Steadfast God, we long to be in your presence. Give us wisdom to know that which is from you. AMEN.