Palm Sunday Bait and Switch
I have a complaint: why is the celebration that gives Palm Sunday its name so short?
What is it about our theological bent toward the difficulty of the passion that we can’t celebrate the world’s recognition of Jesus for more than ten minutes before we must plunge into the hard part?
Do we worship suffering and difficulty so totally that we can’t let ourselves remember when the world loved Jesus, without immediate reminding ourselves that it’s gonna turn to do-do?
Do we not trust ourselves to stay the course if we are too happy?
I understand we cannot trust the acclamation of the world. I understand Easter is a totally different type of joyousness than Palm Sunday’s triumphant procession. But why are we such killjoys that we insist Palm Sunday play no role other than a lesson in fickleness, a warning about the world, a mirage of happiness that is mere precursor to the true point.
The world DID love Jesus. He did ride into the city, no matter the irony of the donkey. If we cannot find and celebrate happiness where it is, instead always turning down our mouths like sourpusses, then we reject the joy God has put into this world for us to find where we may.
If we’re gonna keep celebrating Palm Sunday the way we currently do, I vote to change the name to something like: The Donkey and Barabas: A Study in Crowd Dynamics.