What’s Going On? Why the Parade?

“When they neared Jerusalem, having arrived at Bethphage on Mount Olives, Jesus ent two disciples with these instructions: “Go over to the village across from you. You’ll find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you’re doing, say, ‘The Master needs them!’ He will send them with you”…. The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted. Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, “Hosanna to David’s son! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name! Hosanna in highest heaven” As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved people were asking, “What’s going on here? Who is this?” The parade crowd answered, “This is the prophet Jesus, the one from Nazareth in Galilee.”
– Matthew 21:1-3,6-11 The Message by Eugene Peterson

“Entering Jerusalem Jesus started that final movement foretold by so many prophets, the movement that would bring all and everything together….There were the people, the young and the old, the rich and the poor, full of expectation, and yet now too sure of what was going on. . . There were also scribes, friends, and opponents, who understood better than anyone else what he started to do and where all this would lead. . . They were afraid, not only for him, but also of him”
– Joseph G. Donders in Praying and Preaching the Sunday Gospel.

“He comes his people to redeem And lo, the triumph of an hour,
Enters his own Jerusalem, The short, anticipated power
To buy us with his mortal pain, Prepares him for his gainful loss,
And glorious in his church to reign! And paves the passage to his cross! Charles Wesley
“In Jesus we see a leader who is humble and selfless, unbelievably courageous yet gentle, incredibly truthful yet unimaginably loving. Here ewe see a completely fearless leader who faces the consequences of being a different kind of leader. Matthew reports that the “whole city was stirred up,” asking, “Who is this?” And we know that the loud shouts of acclamation will soon turn to loud cries of “Crucify.” –
– Rueben P. Job

“Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang;
through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them close folded to his breast,
the children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.”
– Jeanette Threlfall

The work and witness of Holy Week beckons. Without fully experiencing Holy Week, we lose something valuable – a behind the scenes look at the real cost of our salvation and the dirty work it took to accomplish it. What if we humbly enter into Holy Week and the story of Jesus’ walk to the cross? We have the opportunity to experience these days in solidarity with our sisters and brothers, with every molecule and atom of this beautiful broken world. We must go behind the scenes. We must walk with Jesus. May this week bring you new revelations, deeper faith, and a holy discomfort on your way to the empty tomb.
– Sharon Blezard

Note: These reflections are for use during the week of April 5-11 and are based on the scriptures for worship on April 5.

Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence


Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.

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