Monday, April 02, 2012

Palm Sunday: Hosanna

Readings are here.
Hosanna! We shout at the beginning of our liturgy - waving our palms. I always thought it meant something like Hallelujah but discovered that it means "Save us." Save us, save me! My question today is "Save us from what? for what?" What are the things you wish to be saved from? What do you want to be save for?

The people of Isaiah's time wanted to be saved from Exile. They wanted to be free, have their own country and temple again. They want to be saved from dispersion, to be kept together as a people, to be able to stay faithful to the one true God, to teach their children about God. They wanted to run their own lives, be free from living in a strange land.

The people of Jesus time wanted to be saved from oppression of a foreign government, they wanted a more fair system of wealth. In those days most lived in poverty with a few owning all the land and assets. Many were day laborers - just like those you see waiting on the corner to be picked up to work the orchards, strawberry or bean fields. Always worrying if they would have enough to feed their families at the end of each day. Even those who had jobs lived marginal lives. They wanted to have a life that was more than grinding poverty, to be able to raise and educate their children to have better lives.

The people of Paul's time wanted to learn about this person Jesus who revealed the nature of God as loving and compassionate and freeing. They did not want to suffer persecution for not worshipping the emperor. They wanted saving for a better life.

Jesus comes riding into our lives on a donkey. In the symbols of his day - he is using the symbol of a king returning from battle. Riding the donkey is a sign of peace. The war is over and peace is returning. It is an attempt to show the king as one of the people (reminds me of some politicians h/t to Maria Evans). So Jesus rides in with the message of peace. But this peace is not just absence of war but shalom - that peace of God that passes understanding, that peace that means well being for all people and the creation, the peace that offers life to all and life abundant.

What do you want saving from and saving for?

How do you see Jesus offering new life for you?

What is your prayer to Jesus?

1 comment:

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Great reflection! Thanks for the shout-out.