Problems and Palms

April 11, 2022

“Jesus found a donkey and rode on it.” John 12:14 ~ GNT

“Today, many years ago, He rode a donkey, not a horse. Peace is still the way He travels.” (Anonymous quote about Palm/Passion Sunday)

Our Palm/Passion Sunday got off to a bad start. I arrived at Bell Choir practice 15 minutes before the start of worship and discovered that my folder of music was nowhere to be found. After a few minutes of frantic searching, one of our members photocopied her sheet music and gave me the copy. I had no idea what note (bell) I was to play. Through a process of elimination, we figured it out, and rushed through the anthem twice.

I flew upstairs with just enough time to do a sound check. My wireless microphone was on, but it was not getting picked up by the receiver. Another member who is great with electronics tried to fix it to no avail, so I rushed back to my office to grab the old one. That meant another sound check as the organist was beginning the prelude.

I sat down to catch my breath and gather my thoughts. The sound of a paper falling next to my feet interrupted my moment of silence. When I looked down, I realized it was a portion of the sheet music for the Prelude that flew off the music stand when the organist turned the page. Not having any idea if it would be needed, I held onto it until there was a big pause in the music. That was my clue that the music was indeed needed. I placed it gently on the organ’s music stand, sat back down for a few seconds to allow time for my spirit to catch up with my body.

It struck me that what is known as Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem that Christian lectionaries mark as Palm/Passion Sunday was not a rehearsed, well-planned, and organized event. It was more like the beginning of worship at St. Paul’ on Palm Sunday. Jesus seems to be the only one who had a clue. He found a donkey and rode on it from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem. The crowds gathered spontaneously, the disciples joined by those who had seen his miracles and feasted on his words and the curious. The word of their shouts that is so familiar was Hosanna! Hosanna means Help! Lord!

It is not in pomp and circumstance, or through a well-oiled machine, or perfection that we encounter Jesus. It is in the messes of life. Let us remember that this Holy Week.

For problems and palms through this Holy Week, let me know you, Jesus. ~ Anne

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