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Today a member of our congregation, David Joseph spoke about the modern church’s tendency away from the political charge of the Palm Sunday message. In the gospel it is indicated that Jesus’ arrival was planned in advance to coincide with the arrival of Roman emissaries. Jesus humbly arriving on a donkey is contrasted with the panoply of Roman entourage entering the other side of the town. The peasant procession uses symbolism from the Jewish tradition of the King of Peace, who would have been taken as riding into the city to banish the ruling empire non-violently.
On Palm Sunday, we do not look to an outside force to blame for the oppression we see in the world, but instead look inwardly and attempt to identify our pride. It is at this time of the year that we ask ourselves, what procession are we in? Do we flock to the pomp and circumstance of the conquering force or do we stand with the oppressed? The story demonstrates Jesus’ peaceful, nonviolent protest against Roman rule.
A suggested definition of pride is a failure to acknowledge that we are not always right, and that we are not bad people, but occasionally we do bad things. It is a test of our egos to handle admitting our wrongdoing. Palm Sunday is a time to reflect that it is possible to be and that we more than likely are in both processions at the same time.
At the last supper, Judas must have been feeling an extreme amount of pressure under the weight of his actions against Jesus. However, it seems that so often the telling of this story fails to question whether we are indeed more like Judas than the other disciples. We ended with a prayer that we may always have an opportunity to realize when we are on the wrong side of history.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
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