Summary: Palm Sunday - moving quickly from the joy of the moment to the Journey of Jesus life. From Light to heavy.
I love a Parade!
Mark 1: 1-11
Palm Sunday always reminds me of parades when I was a kid in Douglasville and especially since I have lived here. Personally, I don’t like being in them as much as watching them.
This week I immediately thought of my favorite parade. It was on the Fourth of July about 11 years ago. It was typical for Rome, people started turning out early. People parked on Broad street hours before time just so they would have a good place to watch. It is amazing how many pickup trucks are used as reviewing stands. We have some folks around here that are pro-spectators. They have their Pickup parked in the right place, they have chairs and a cooler. Snacks and they are prepared to hang in there until it is all over.
I guess everyone likes to see friends and their kids go by. The music from the High school Bands. The scouts and to beauty pageant winners sitting on the back of convertibles. But this particular year, this particular parade included our local military reserve folks, the ones that had been deployed in the previous conflict with Iraq.
They were finally back home. Most of them marching down the road in formation, some were riding on a couple of the huge trucks. They had their families with them. The hometown folks were praising and shouting, and the applause was far beyond a polite little sound. Wow, that made me feel good. It was great to be a part of all that excitement.
When Jesus was heading to Jerusalem, I imagine it to be a little something like this. But it was not the same thing.
Jesus did not organize a parade in his honor. It just sort of happened. His followers just started a ruckus. And the people came out to see what was going on. They were in-between football and baseball season and maybe had nothing better to do.
Some of the spectators that day could have been Pro’s, There were often processions come into Jerusalem. Kings , Generals and governors came and went and some of the people probably came out to watch. There are a lot of people that just like a good parade. A good show of splendor, of sharp military people, of important leaders marching in and out of the city.
Jesus and his disciples were on a familiar road, they had all traveled it before, even as a group they have come and gone from the city with people hardly even noticing.
In today’s scripture, most of the people came out to watch and enjoy another parade, but for Jesus it was the last few miles of a journey, His life journey.
I would guess that most of us would agree to the description of our lives as journey. Sometimes it seems more like an adventure, other times when there are problems and trouble I might call it an ordeal. But when I pull back to a map image of my life and the roads I traveled the word Journey is probably a good description. The word journey can cover both good and bad. We all are on our own separate journeys and for a time we walk some of the same roads.
Our life journey is different from a parade. Our journey surely includes some parades. But a parade is generally intense and short lived. We can not live our life at parade level for very long.
Most parades take a lot of scheduling and planning. You have to pick a date and organize the advertising and who is in it. The route, parking and even how it ends had to be planned. Planning is required because we don’t want anything to go wrong or few surprises along the way because surprises mean delays. Normally life is not similar to a parade, it is too intense.
In my case, my life is definitely not a parade, not as planned as I probably should. I don’t even plan vacations, when we take one. We have not had a vacation until we have the adventure of being lost in some industrial section of town on a weekend. I consider that to be a part of Life’s adventure, a part of the journey.
I have heard a rumor that some people like everything in their lives totally planned. They don’t like surprises. They don’t like to shoot off life’s little side trails and see where they go. I guess that is ok, I don’t know how they are able to do it. But I can understand planning to avoid mistakes and bad things I just don’t do it very well.
Often we discuss how Jesus could see into people, read their hearts and true intentions, he prophesied things that would happen.