Tag Archive for 'Palm Sunday'

Palm Sunday April 17, 2011

Matthew 26:14-27:66                                                       

John 4:5-42                                                                            

Think of today as a drama in three acts, in each of which we play a different role. Act I is the palm procession outside. In all my years of doing Palm Sundays I’ve never managed to have a donkey for Jesus to ride on, but it’s still always a glorious celebration. We’re there singing hosanna! and waving our palm branches of victory. Jesus has come to save us. Everything is up and up.

And we all know what that Act is like in our own lives. It’s when we land the job we wanted or get a raise. It’s when we fall in love or the person we want to marry says yes. It’s the new house, the new car, the child graduating with honors, getting into college, building a new church, our candidate for President getting elected. All of those and more. Salvation: it’s what we long for, and in Act I it seemed to be there, finally in our grasp. Continue reading ‘Palm Sunday April 17, 2011’

Palm Sunday April 5, 2009

John 12:12-16  (Palm gospel)                                                                   

Mark 14:1-15:47  (Passion gospel)                                                              


[At this service, the Holy Cross Youth Group acted out the gospel in dramatic form.]


The Catholic Archbishop of Chicago issued a decree. (That’s the sort of thing Catholic Archbishops can do. In the Episcopal Church, bishops have to resort to whining.) The decree said that Palm Sunday Passion dramas could not be done in historic costumes. The reason, Cardinal Bernardin said, is that these things didn’t just happen back then. They’re happening now. Though this year we’ve done the Passion drama with some suggestions of costume—if you have kids doing the drama, you have to have a sword!—what we’ve just witnessed (and participated in) is indeed a drama about our life, not just things back then in Jerusalem 2000 years ago.


What is this drama? A French historian and philosopher named René Girard has some very helpful insights. The crucifixion of Jesus, he says, is the supreme instance of scapegoating. And scapegoating is an ongoing drama—even the ongoing drama of human life. Continue reading ‘Palm Sunday April 5, 2009’

Lent 5 March 29, 2009

Jeremiah 31:31-34                                                             

Hebrews 5:5-10                                                                  

John 12:20-33


Each of us here this morning has something we must give up, surrender, sacrifice, in order that we might truly live. It’s something very precious to you, something you’ve held onto fiercely in your deepest soul, for years, maybe all your life. And you don’t want to let go of it. But you must, if you are to be truly free and whole and alive in Jesus Christ. Continue reading ‘Lent 5 March 29, 2009’