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Palm Sunday

Today, on Palm Sunday, I'm remembering this view of Jerusalem from the Eastern wall.

I'm picturing Jesus, on a donkey, journeying up towards the Golden Gate: crowds gathered, some excited, some concerned, some confused. Many crying out "Hosanna!" (the root of which means "help!")

I'm remembering Zechariah 9:9 "The Coming of Zion's King – See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey".

I'm remembering that Jesus was revealing, that in some strange way, he was a king. But an unusual, surprising, counter intuitive king.

I'm remembering that he road not a horse - which in the tradition of his day was the animal ridden by war-bent, 'victorious warrior' kings to showcase their power and authority. He rode a donkey: an animal that was a meek beast of burden, a sign and a symbol of peace.

I'm remembering Jesus was the one who was a king, but not a normal king with dominating power over others through war or violence or oppression.

This was an "anti-war" king. An "anti-violence" king.

A king who's power was demonstrated in giving his life up for others.

And then I'm remembering the world we live in today. The world of division, of "walls", or separation, of "us" and "them", of political, cultural and social polarisation. I'm thinking of all the ways, big and small, that I've contributed to and colluded with the violence and division and barrier making. I'm owning up to where I've framed things to put me in the "in", and some other person or group in the "out"

I'm remembering a quote by Richard Rohr: "God is the Includer, and we [humanity] are the included."

And I'm singing. I'm singing a phrase from a worship song I was introduced to yesterday. I'm singing it with desperation, with soberness. But also with a deep hope in this strange donkey-riding king- a hope in what he promises his death has done in liberating us from the stranglehold of human-distortingness. I'm hoping in what he will done one day.

Take our hearts of stone

Give us hearts of flesh

Lead us to the end

Of us versus them

Spread wide your table Lord

And gather us in

Tear down the barrier walls

Between us and them


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