Thoughts Leading up to Palm Sunday
This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week - the last week of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday and the time when Christians commemorate the last week of Jesus' life.
Palm Sunday, the day we remember having pretend play swords in church, or learning how to do origami with a dried leaf. A story about a donkey and leaves and coats on the ground!
These were my recollections (Perhaps yours too) of what Palm Sunday meant - growing up as a child. It is if course much more!
Images within stories capture us and help us to remember them. They help us to make sense of it and understand the meaning (or at least to help us to learn – think of ‘Moby Dick, Animal Farm and Pilgrims Progress!).
The difference here with Palm Sunday is that it is not fiction, and the images of donkeys, palms and shouts tell a bigger story. Remember, a donkey carried a poor, pregnant mother named Mary all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This gentle beast of burden carried the Saviour of the World.
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the donkey symbolises so much and on this triumphal entry, Jesus rode a donkey fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, making his triumphant entry while riding a lowly animal a symbol of peace.
In the ancient Biblical world, a leader rode on a horse if he was coming in war and a donkey to signify peace.
Jesus embraced the poor, weak and oppressed during his time here on earth. The story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:33-34 is a perfect symbol of his love and compassion:
'But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.'
This Palm Sunday don’t be put off by the imagery but remember this donkey started the journey to the cross for Jesus, and ultimately the pre-cursor to the triumph of death and the glorious resurrection on Easter morning!
Every Blessing, Andy
*** COMING SOON! HOLY WEEK REFLECTIONS - visit our blog for daily reflections from Rev. David Lyddon, during Holy Week. Starting this Sunday 28th March!***
***ANNOUNCEMENT! We are delighted to be able to reopen St Paul's church for in person services - in time for Easter! For details of our events and services during Holy Week, check out our Services at St Paul's and Church At Home Pages.****