On Palm Sunday we begin Holy Week and commemorate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the place of his suffering and death, resurrection and glory.
At All Saints Dallas on this special Sunday, we will begin our celebration with the Liturgy of the Palms. We will gather in the parking lot with palm branches in our hands and remember this occasion with a procession around the parking lot and into the church. As a part of the procession we will read the narrative of Jesus' triumphal entry from Matthew's Gospel.
Not only does this Sunday recall Jesus' messianic entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, it also recalls and brings to the forefront of our beings the fact that the same people who hailed Jesus' entry with praises of "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!", is the same group who would later shout, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" We will participate in this with a dramatic reading during the service.
The sheer irony of Palm Sunday is fantastic. Jesus, the only begotten son of the living God enters Jerusalem as the true messiah. He does this humbly on a donkey, not as a proud warlord on his war horse. Yet, in his entry into Jerusalem, Jesus engages the forces darkness and evil in the battle of history. He takes the law with its written demands and codes and triumphs over them. And, he confonts the forces of evil and makes an open mockery of them as he triumphs over them at the cross. I pray we can all enter into this Holy Week through Palm Sunday with ready hearts and attentive minds, giving thanks to God our Father for the blessed One who comes in the name of the Lord.