The Parade Passes By

paradePalm-Passion Sunday

April 13, 2014

Matthew 21:1-11

 

Who doesn’t love a parade?

I’d have been there right with them!

Waving my branch,

Singing hosanna!

 

When you think about it,

Many of those in line probably didn’t even know who Jesus was.

They’d been wrapped up in the excitement of the moment,

Someone handed them a palm,

And along they came!


Hasn’t that ever happened to you?

You see some people gathering together

And it looks like something is about to happen,

And so you get in line too,

….And then afterwards you ask,

‘What are we in line for anyway?’

(Please say it’s happened to you!)

 

Who doesn’t love a parade?

 

I love the excitement,

The anticipation,

The laughter,

The joy,

 

The balloon guy walking down the street,

The woman selling plastic horns and flags and pink and blue cotton candy that looks just a little bit stale from her grocery cart,

 

The toddlers wandering off the curb into the street,

And their parents pulling them back,

The teenagers riding their bikes down the route showing off before it starts,

 

The police officers with their bullhorns asking people to make room,

The sirens of the fire engine as it comes down the street,

with the station’s Dalmatian mascot sitting up straight in front,

 

Who doesn’t love a parade?

 

The chairs and blankets lining the side of the road,

The band members with their instruments

hurrying to the starting point,

Flat bed trucks decorated with flowers and signs,

and cute little kids in their scout uniforms moving into line.

 

Who doesn’t love a parade?

 

With all this excitement, joy, and laughter,

It was easy to be a friend of Jesus.

It was easy to shout hail to the messiah – hosanna!

It was easy to say ‘You go Jesus!’

It was easy to clap and wave and cheer as he came by…

 

It’s easy to be a fan of Jesus

when there’s a parade….

 

It’s easy to be a fan of Jesus

When you have family who loves you,

When you’ve been born in a first world country,

When you’ve never had to use food stamps,

When you’ve never had to explain your gender,

When you’ve never been fired,

When you’ve never been in jail,

 

It’s easy to be a fan of Jesus,

When you only have to work one job to make ends meet,

When you’ve had only healthy babies,

When you’ve never been without health insurance,

When you can hear and see and remember most things,

 

It’s easy to be a fan of Jesus,

In the midst of a parade.

 

It’s easy to be a friend of Jesus on Palm Sunday…

(And even on Easter.)

 

It’s far more difficult to be a fan of Jesus

In the days of his suffering…called his “passion,”

which is why of course the parade of people

ran away so quickly.

 

It’s far more difficult to be a fan of Jesus

When he’s not popular,

When you’re not popular;

When you are not of the dominant race or culture or sexual orientation…

 

But hear this…

It’s only difficult if you’re a fan of a certain kind of Jesus.

It’s only difficult if the kind of Jesus you’re a fan of

is the kind of Jesus who rewards the deserving,

who loves best those who do the right things,

who blesses the most worthy,

who gives success to the hardest working,

who hangs out with the popular crowd himself.

 

And that’s not the kind of Jesus I believe in.

I believe in the kind of Jesus who reveals God most

when he chooses his friends from those who are the least popular.

I believe in the kind of Jesus who reveals God most

in times of suffering..I dare say even in times of horror, of evil, and of tragedy.

I believe in the kind of Jesus who reveals God most

on the cross of Good Friday and not swooped up  in the parade of Palm Sunday.

 

The apostle Paul wrote,

“We preach Christ crucified!”

(interesting that he didn’t say “we preach Christ risen,”  isn’t it?)

 

Sure God is clearly present at the resurrection..

God is clearly there bringing new life…

We’ll talk a lot about that next week!

But not yet…

 

You can’t have resurrection without death.

You can’t have new life without something dying.

 

We now move to this most holy of weeks.

Hear again the story of his passion…and know that God is there.


Amen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s