On Palm Saturday/Sunday, we remember how Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem - not on a high horse but on a donkey and colt. That's humility.
We also remember that the people who welcomed him did so by laying down palm branches and their own cloaks on the road. Back in those days, people only had one cloak, maybe two if they were lucky. This article of clothing kept them warm, safe, and comfortable. So to lay down their only cloak... that's radical welcome.
At communion, when we eat this bread - a symbol of Jesus’ body and nourishment for our bodies - and drink wine/Welch’s - a symbol of Jesus’ life and refreshment for our lives - I hope we consider the comfortable, safe things that we need to lay down:
the comfort of staying with people who look like us, speak the same language, and eat the same food
the safety of only being with people who interpret the Bible the same way that we do and have the same religious beliefs and background
the comfort of being right instead of being in relationship with others
the safety of never learning about or participating in a religious or cultural activity that isn't our own
the comfort of not offering forgiveness to someone who has hurt us and
the safety of not asking for forgiveness from someone we have hurt.
I hope we can lay these down before Jesus and God this Palm Saturday/Sunday so that when we eat this meal of grace we, too, can say "Hosanna."
- Pastor Awit