I Love A Parade!

Don’t you just love a parade? The crowds, the bands, the floats, and the marchers; the fire engines, the horses, the dignitaries riding in convertibles; the noise, the sights and positive energy. I’m not sure it really matters what the parade is about, we seem to be naturally drawn to a parade. We’ll watch, cheer and applaud even if we just happen upon a parade. This Sunday is the annual event we call Palm Sunday. It’s the beginning of Holy Week, the days and events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s kind of a strange way to start the story. The whole city of Jerusalem welcomes the “celebrity” Jesus to town.

Since we know the ending, isn’t this kind of backward? Shouldn’t the parade have been after Jesus rose from the dead? It’s all a little upside down…Jesus rides in victoriously but things seem to go downhill from there. His best friends betray and abandon him. The people in charge falsely accuse him. Jesus’ fate seems to be determined by political ambitions, greed and power. Is this story one we really need to review each and every year? I mean, it’s a little depressing…and honestly just a little bit too familiar and too much like real life. Can’t we skip from the Parade to the Empty Tomb?

We could…but by not embracing the dark side of the story we miss the joy of the Good News and the chance to journey through our suffering to find a resurrection. This is a model for living that doesn’t exclude our pain or our sorrow. God does some of God’s best work in contrasts:

Light/dark
Slave/free
Child/king
Water/wine
Death/life

 

May we be willing to embrace our contrasts to find how God is creating a resurrection in our lives. Join us Sunday for a parade and the reading of the Gospel story of the events of Holy Week. And, next week for services on Thursday and Friday evening as we experience the contrasts of Jesus’ last days as a human being. May we be able to move through the events of our lives with Jesus walking alongside us.

We are blessed to be a blessing,
Vikki

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