Palm Sunday – Sunday 1st April 2012
John 12: 12-16
I can just imagine the scene in 25 years time. The Silver Wedding Anniversary party will be in full flow. After carefully studying the photo’s the conversation will go something like this:
“So who’s this in the wedding photo, dad?”
“Well, that’s your Uncle Charlie and Aunty Flo. There’s your mum’s cousin Julie. And that’s Bill and Edna – old neighbours from Laburnum Grove.”
“Yeah, but who’s the old dear in the hat and the fellow next to her?”
“Them? That’s just the Queen and Prince Philip.”
Amazing. A story of a couple from Manchester who booked the Town Hall for their wedding not knowing that the Queen and Prince Philip would be there the same day, and more than that would be happy to chat with the couple and their wedding party, and even pose for a couple of photo’s. Amazing.
A little bit of the ordinary dazzled by a touch of royalty.
I suppose that was the opposite of the gospel reading for Palm Sunday, where a little bit of royalty was dazzled by a touch of the ordinary – Jesus came to town.
Choosing the traditional form of a victorious king returning to Jerusalem, Jesus adds his own little twist as the crowds shout their Hosanna’s. “Hail to the King of Israel!” they shout as Jesus passes by on the back of a donkey.
To me, this sums up the simplicity of the Passion story, of how God touches my life. Without fanfare or fuss, Jesus enters the city and stakes his claim for my heart. Without bravado or boasting, he points to the cross and says, “I did it for you”. Without a second thought for my sin and failure, he stands alongside me like he’s been my mate all my life. Without pride or prejudice he asks, “Will you follow me? Will you feed my sheep? Do you love me?”
Love so amazing, so divine…