This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. This was the first Palm Sunday that I was not in a traditional worship setting, waving palms in the air as Hosannas were sung. I was in Goshen, Virginia wrapping up a weekend middle school retreat. So missed the usual pomp and circumstance of the Sunday before Easter.
This is not just symbolic but emblematic of our watered-down, imperial, and impotent brand of christianity.
But is our celebration of Palm Sunday a real reflection of what actually went down on the day Jesus rod down the street on a colt while palms were being thrown on the ground? Bo Sanders of Homebrewed Christianity wrote an excellent post comparing the actual events of Jesus entering Jerusalem to a call for revolution.
According to Bo, the laying of palms on the ground before Jesus that day in Jerusalem is the equivalent of throwing up your middle finger at the established government (there’s a Sunday school lesson for your kids).
Here is what Bo had to say:
I am troubled by the lack of context regarding the palms of Palm Sunday. It reeks of both willful ignorance and religious disconnect.
In so many ways we have sanitized, sterilized and compartmentalized the teaching of scriptures. We proudly and loudly defend the Bible – all the while neglecting the actual reality talked about in that Bible.
We complain that Christmas and Easter have been commercialized and secularized all the while partaking of the consumerism and cultural complacency that those two celebrations are meant to challenge!
Palm Sunday might be the most flagrant example of this ignorance and misappropriation. Palm Sunday is call for revolution against the powers of oppression, the systems and institutions that occupy foreign lands and repress its citizens with unjust practices and economic policies.
You can read more of this post from Bo at Homebrew Christianity.