Palm Sunday, Entry into Jerusalem , Holy Week, Mark 11:1-11, Returning the Colt

Returning The Colt – A Palm Sunday Sermon On Mark 11:1-11

Mark’s is the only gospel that says Jesus entered the temple, looked around, and left. So why did Jesus leave the temple and go to Bethany? The gospel tells us why. Jesus left the temple “as it was already late” (Mark 11:11). So that got me to wondering. What if this is about something more than just the time of day? What if Jesus is late getting somewhere or doing something? Continue reading Returning The Colt – A Palm Sunday Sermon On Mark 11:1-11

Between the Palms and the Passion is Vulnerability

Photograph of crucifix and palmsIn some ways today feels like one of confusion and contradiction. Our readings begin on “a colt that has never been ridden” and end “in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid.” The disciples “praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen.” “The chief priests, the leaders, and the people” … keep shouting, “Crucify, crucify him.” What began as a victory parade ends as a funeral procession.

There’s a disconnect that makes us uncomfortable. It should. On the one hand we wave our palms and celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. On the other hand the gospel paints a picture of Jesus’ passion and death. There’s a part of me that wants to say, “Well which is it? Palms or passion?” The answer is, “Yes.” Every year this day again reminds me, reminds us, that the answer is, “Yes.” It is both, palms and passion. The Book of Common Prayer even calls it that, “The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday.”  There is no quick or easy resolution to the palms and the passion. There is only the tension of the day. It’s a difficult place to be. Continue reading “Between the Palms and the Passion is Vulnerability”

Emptying and Embodying – A Sermon for Palm Sunday; Mark 11:1-11

The collect and readings for The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, Year B, may be found here. The following sermon is based on Mark 11:1-11 and Philippians 2:5-11. Today is a strange mixture of gospel readings, emotions, and contrast. We began with a parade; shouts of “Hosanna,” a declaration of praise and a cry for salvation; and the waving of palms, the ancient symbol … Continue reading Emptying and Embodying – A Sermon for Palm Sunday; Mark 11:1-11