Palm/Passion Sunday

Good morning!  This is no foolin…it’s actually Palm/Passion Sunday already!

Today’s scripture: Mark 11: 1-11 (NRSV)When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples2and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”



Crowds are so interesting to me.  I was on the phone with my dear friend Kate yesterday and I mentioned that I was going to a concert last night.  She asked who I was going with.  I told her that I was going by myself but I would probably meet some folks and join their group and it would be fine.  Or I wouldn’t and I would enjoy anyway.  She replied, “sometimes being an extrovert is to your advantage isn’t it?”  And we both laughed and moved on.


So I went to my concert last night and I was standing around waiting for the show to begin.  I played “words with friends” on my phone, updated my facebook status, texted and then I looked up.  A woman in front of me turned around and introduced herself.  She then said, “So I have noticed that you came to this concert alone…I noticed that no one met up with you…so if want to join our group you are more than welcome to.” I thanked her and moved up into the group of five women.  Turns out they all sign into the website and then when this activity came up, they decided to all meet up and go to the concert together.  I was just another addition to their meet up crew without doing the advanced sign up.  And it turns out they all belong to the group on this website of 30 something women.  Wow, I found some of my people.  We had a fantastic time together because some were also as dedicated as I to this artist so we could get excited about certain songs, sing along to others. It was fantastic.  The crowd actually made my experience so much better.


If I zoomed out even more to the larger crowd, it was a great audience to be a part of.  We sang when they needed to sing and loudly.  We cheered in exuberantly in opportune times.  We ate up the new stuff and loved on the old stuff in her music.  Even in the opener, we started a beat for him and participated well.  I love being part of a good crowd.  It moves me and gives me energy (the extrovert coming out again).


Crowds can be pretty amazing.  I can only imagine the crowd at this palm scene.  This crowd is a good crowd.  They cheer exuberantly because of what is going on.  They buy into the revolution and they carry the experience.  They create the vibe around this entrance into Jerusalem.  At this same time, crowds can go very very badly at times.  Stupid and horrible decisions can be made by crowds and sometimes when we are in one, we follow right along.  This particular crowd, it’s hard to imagine, will turn throughout the week.  The people we thought we knew and were proud to be a part of will turn in a short amount of time.  So we have to consider that aspect of the crowd as well.


Where are you in the continuum this morning? Where are your emotions? Are you ready to celebrate or is your mind in a different state? Where do you connect and where do you shy away ?


As you prepare for worship, please pray for this crowd experience of feeling the story and celebrating revolution through the streets as well as feeling the story oh so deeply.




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