A two voice reflection for Palm Sunday – the first Sunday (in Scotland) churches can be open for worship following the latest enforced closures due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- Voice 1: Someone in the crowd as Jesus rides into Jerusalem
- Voice 2: Someone in the procession back to church as lockdown rules on worship are relaxed
It’s quite exciting isn’t it really. The buzz of the crowd drew me out of my home to join in the party, the chanting of Hosanna to the Son of David. I’ve heard of this Jesus, Son of David, guy before but I’ve not had a chance to hear his teaching. But stories of his healings, his teachings, and just generally what a wonderful bloke he is have travelled.
We’ve been inside for months, locked down to our own homes, not allowed to leave. We’re told its safer for us here – for outside in the crowds, we’d give the virus a motorway to travel on, infecting the masses at high speed.
Every faithful Jew has been promised that a king is on his way, ready to come and help us, and that he will come on a donkey. I have trusted in that promise, and today, it seems to be coming true. So yes I’m excited and joyful as I join in with the crowd.
We’ve been released – partially at least – from Lockdown. For the first time in months I can travel to church to observe the Sunday feast. To share in communion with our Lord.
I was highly energised as I joined in the chants of Hosanna’s. I too welcomed this Son of David, this special person, with the highest honour into my home city, and yes, into my heart too. I too joined in laying cloaks and branches from nearby trees – a carpet of honour for him as he rides in on a donkey.
I was hesitant to join in, but I glimpsed the branches of the trees outside. And as I looked out more deliberately, I realised the community around me welcomed me warmly. We may still be under significant restrictions, and not able to celebrate this day as we normally would, but still, we celebrate and all are welcome to join the (socially distant) crowd.
“Whoever you are,
wherever you are,
and whatever your circumstances,
draw on the energy of all you see around you
and join in your own way with crowds from near and far
as we say together:
Hosanna to the King of David.”
I can cry my Hosanna, personally to my saviour in my own space and time. But now, in my procession back to church after lockdown, I shout it in my actions too!
It’s wonderful when we can come together with such energy. It lifts us all and gives us all strength and peace, even amongst the noise of the crowd. We are united in our faith and in our hope. And that, with this Jesus riding into Jerusalem as we had been promised, we are uplifted and united as a community.
The crowd who energised me today may have no idea that they did so. Those I shouted Hosanna with were spread, socially distanced, across the community and across the world, each of us in our own space. Despite the rules restricting the crowds, It remains a powerful experience as I once again witnessed Jesus riding into Jerusalem. His procession was my guide as I too processed – back to Church.