He Arrives!

Sunday, March 29, 2015
Mark 11:1-11

When many of us were growing up, this was Palm Sunday, focussed simply on that glorious entry - not, as it is often called today, Palm Passion Sunday, with the dual focus on both the procession and at least some of the events of Holy Week.

So you have heard sermons and reflections on the theme of that procession - the humility, the glory.

With texts like this one, it is sometimes challenge to find another layer of meaning to add to the solid base that has probably been laid over past years.

But there are a couple of interesting things in this reading.
First, I’d like to look at the donkey again.
The donkey had never been ridden.  There are symbolic elements to riding the “donkey that had not been ridden”.

But I see something symbolic beyond the phrase of the “donkey that had not been ridden.”  

I have never ridden a donkey.
I have never ridden a horse that has never been ridden.

But my understanding is that these animals are, well, balky and skittish when they suddenly have that unfamiliar burden.

I would assume that the donkey that Jesus was guiding upon that day was likewise balky and skittish.

As were the people that Jesus was encountering -
    the ones who listened
    the ones who ignored
    the ones who argued.
    The ones who cheered
    the ones who denied
    the ones who jeered.

As are the people of Jesus today.
As are the people of the world today.
As are we.

Balky and skittish.
Needing the guidance of Jesus’ rein.  


We have people demonstrating in the streets in our day.
The procession into the city was a protest.
A protest against the way things were -
    both the political leadership, as Jesus was welcomed as King
    and the religious leadership, as the Rabbi from Nazareth was celebrated.

Protests ..... I think we often see this in the negative, because protests are, inherently, disruptive to one degree or another.

I have not heard a lot of support for those protesting against austerity - especially when these protests become, unfortunately, destructive.
I would hope that many are not sympathetic to those who were planning to protest what they call the “Islamification of the West”.

But there are many protests.  
    Some deserve our support.  
    Some deserve our presence.

The procession into Jerusalem and the “hosannas” of celebration.
The protest in favour of tolerance and against racism, which took place in response to the “Isalmifaction” planned protest.
Anti-racism protests, some sponsored and organized by church organizations
Ecumenical Good Friday marches through many towns.

There are many protests.
Let us use wisdom to discern what deserves our support
by word, or by participation.

Final detail: Look what happened when Jesus got to the city.

Here was a very popular teacher, or Rabbi.  
Whenever he spoke, hundreds would show up to listen.

He arrives in Jerusalem, and the religious leaders do.... nothing.
He arrives at the temple.  And he “looks around”.  
And the religious leaders do nothing.

No welcome to this Rabbi.
Famous, well known, but the welcome was non-existant.

Ignored in hopes that he would go away,
that his support would fizzle and die.
Ghandi, well-known peaceful protestor, stated:
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”

This week - be a part of Holy Week.  Good Friday, Easter Sunday. Live the whole story....
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”