Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

Matthew 21
The Triumphal Entry

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

Jesus at the Temple Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a 'den of robbers."

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant.

"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, " 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?"
And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Palm Branches that were given out at the morning service at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer on Muristan Road in the Old City, Jerusalem.

We gathered on the veranda of St. John's Chapel where the English speaking congregation meets for worship.Singing "All Glory, Laud, and Honor" we processed around the veranda...

And into the Chapel.

At 2:00 pm we gathered on the other side of the Mount of Olives at the Church of Bethphage. There was a blessing of the palms and the processional began. There were thousands of people.

The processional begins. With a police presence at the beginning.

At the beginning of the procession were flags from different Palestinian boys and girls scout troops.

At this point we are processing up to the crest of the Mount of Olives from Bethphage. People carried palms and olive branches. Children were selling palms and olive branches everywhere.

Some palms were quite large!

There is always an opportunity for protest.

We are now at the top of the Mount of Olives waiting to funnel through a small alleyway.
Beginning down the Mount of Olives with the flags at the beginning of the procession.

Looking behind!

And looking ahead. We are processing down the Mount of Olives heading for the Kidron Valley.

We are now in the Kidron Valley.

A little girl singing. When we arrived in the Kidron Valley there was a short stop. The entire time we processed there was singing and much joy. Groups from all over the world were singing many different songs in their own language.

Now we've turned the corner and are beginning the ascent to the Lion's Gate at the Old City.

Approaching Lion's Gate. Sun was shining very brightly.
Through Lion's Gate into the Old City.

Once inside the Old City we processed into the courtyard of St. Ann's. This is on the Via Dolorosa Road. There were drums and a group singing 'Hosanna' in a very catchy middle eastern tune. The djembe drums accompanied.

Banner for the Al Raja's Musical Group.

Pooped out nuns.
And seminarians.

I sort of feel this way right now. Glad to be sitting with a satisfied smile on my face. This Palm Sunday was wonderful. I wish I could adequately describe the sound and the excitement of the people.
A Hosanna High!

1 comment:

Dina said...

Thanks for all the great scenes of Palm Sunday in the Holy City, Suzanne. Nothing quite like it, eh? I just posted mine, too, albeit from last year. Hosanna!