Many of us know the story of Easter…but how many of us have thought a lot about the meaning of Palm Sunday? Think with me for a minute about the crowd lining the streets on the Sunday long ago; imagine the press of the people as they gather along the road from Bethany to Jerusalem. You can smell the dust, and the donkeys; you can hear the crowd. You can see the brightly colored holiday clothes of festive pilgrims gathering in Jerusalem.
In our celebration of Palm Sunday, we forget that in a few short days Jesus will be betrayed, abandoned, mocked, and ultimately nailed on a cross. And the same crowds that had sung “Hosannas” at his arrival would shout “Crucify Him!” So…what does this teach us about our faith? What have we learned from the events of Palm Sunday and holy week?
When we come to church each week we share in our Palm Sunday moments. We celebrate our fellowship and find our joy at being together. We rejoice in the faith that lifts us up and we pray for ourselves and for others. And all of that is wonderful…and meaningful…and part of our shared life together.
But what really matters is what happens when we leave the church. What matters is what happens after we have put down our palm branches and the parade has moved past where we are standing…and out of our sight. What matters is what we do the rest of the week when we are not at church.
I am sure that many who joined in the Palm Sunday procession and palm waving were not celebrating Jesus for who he was. I’m sure many were simply going along with the crowd. That’s easy to do when you’re in a group. It’s easy for us to do on Sunday morning when no one will laugh at us or mock us for trying to make a difference, for going out of our way to reach out to another, for talking about God. But we aren’t called JUST to Sunday mornings. We are called to LIVE what we SAY every day of our lives! We are called to WALK the TALK!
No matter what you believe, don’t just “preach” it, live it. Cherish your Palm Sunday moments wherever you find them, fill yourself up at the parade, and then go back into the regular, every day streets and be all you are called to be.