|Today’s scripture reading:
John 12:12-27 and 19:16-22
And so, we find ourselves here, after the parade. Palm fronds litter the floor and the steps in front. No longer held up and waving, but following the facts of gravity and now come down to earth. The excitement has passed some by this point, like it did after that high theatrical moment of spectacle when people lined the highways and byways of Jerusalem with a pointed public purpose. It had been a moment of daring clarity and solidarity: the throngs of Jerusalem come together to cry out “Hosanna—save us!” and praise “the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the king of Israel.” Here came Jesus through their midst, riding on a small donkey, in just the way Scripture foretold that Israel’s messiah would come. For good measure and to hail Jesus’ entry, they waved palm fronds—a symbol of victory throughout the ancient world. Here at last was the one to overthrow oppressive Rome, to restore righteous faith, and to set everything right. Anything seemed possible!