In their fine work, The Last Week, New Testament scholars Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan inform us that the paths humans can choose to follow are laid utterly bare on Palm Sunday.  

A solemn Palm Sunday hymn based on the book The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. Originally posted to YouTube by Amanda Udis-Kessler.

On this day, Jesus actually staged a planned protest against the powers and principalities of the world—the choice is stark and ours to make as well.  Humans love parades, and powers-that-be love parades for their egos—not so long ago an American president pined for a military parade in his honor—which he did not get–so we are not unfamiliar with parades in our world either.

Jesus chose a parade not of the powerful and powerbrokers, but riding on a donkey.  His was a mockery and satire on the parades of the powerful.  It started out joyfully and even humorously on Palm Sunday with the ordinary people cheering him on waving palms.  But it did not end well five days later.  In the short run.  

Rev. Dr. Shanon Sterringer (back left), Deacon Olivia Diehl (back right), Crucifer (center) Jeff Diehl; preparing for Palm Sunday 2021 at The Hildegard Haus. Photo used with permission via Rev. Jerry Maynard.

The message was heard, however.  Make a choice: The way of the powerful or the way of the poor.

This Palm Sunday, 2021, there are equally stark choices facing us.  One political party in America, for reasons that are totally inexplicable other than that power is their god and holding onto power at all costs is their idol, have chosen to abandon our democratic government of 245 years by reinstating Jim Crow voting laws today.  

Dressed up in clean suits, 7 men—all white—standing below a painting of a plantation that owned hundreds of slaves in years past, signed into law this week a bill that is the opposite of government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”  The reason why Georgia and the rest of the Confederacy fought and lost a Civil War in the first place.

We have been told why they are doing this—because if they live by the rules, the republicans, as currently constituted by the sorest loser in history, won’t win any more elections.  No proposal to debate new ideas to solve America’s problems.  Just a signing of a document that puts into law the obvious disenfranchisement of descendants of slaves in America.  An old story.  An old evil that we naively thought was behind us.

What direction will you go? Will you journey the path of justice? Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash.

Evil is not an abstraction.  Nor is racism.  Nor is killing a democracy, however needy it is to renew itself.   

Like Jesus’s parade/procession, every American citizen has a choice to make on this Palm Sunday, 2021.  Which parade to join?  That of the democracy-killers?  Or a parade that seeks racial justice, economic justice, eco-justice, gender justice, gender preference justice which recognizes sexual diversity that the Creator and creation have devised over millions of years?  

(Unfortunately, Pope Francis flunked that choice recently; one hopes, on Palm Sunday in Lent, that he might repent and quit peddling homophobic and other sexual neuroses of Augustine, etc. and his empire and instead join the parade and teachings of Jesus on behalf of the anawim, those without a voice.)

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society.

Banner Image: Collection of palm branches. Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.

How do you apply the alternative parade/procession that Jesus offers us on this Palm Sunday, in Lenten season of 2021?  And on evil choices facing us at this time in history?

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

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6 thoughts on “Palm Sunday 2021”

  1. Avatar

    We choose love. In the midst of all evil, we choose love. Again and again, as many times as it takes, we choose love. God is love. We all are created to love and be loved. God’s love is more than enough to emboldened our hearts and spirits to say no to all evil, and bring bring God’s goodness and love to this world. ( including the stinkers). Thank you for Palm Sunday meditation)

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Susan, your words remind me of a passage I remember from A Course in Miracles which says, “Teach only love, for that is what you are.”

  2. Avatar

    Thank you for giving words for my outrage over Georgia’s voter suppression legislation and for the musical illustration of our Palm Sunday choice. I feel like screaming When? when will it end? Racism. Violence against innocents. The whole horrific list… when??

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      “When will it end?” you ask, as most all of us do. When will racism end and all forms of injustice? As I wrote someone earlier this week–I quoted a passage from the book of Revelation which says, “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they who keep the commandments of God [Do what they can do for good], and the faith of Jesus [keep the faith]” (Revelation 14:12). So, I guess we will just have to stay patient…

  3. Avatar

    Thank you for this meditation. It gives more of an understanding of Palm Sunday, and the revolutionary actions of our brother Jesus. We choose to follow Jesus – the choice is ours to make.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      And thank you Ellen for listening, seeing more of our “brother Jesus, and choosing to follow him !!!

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