Today is Palm Sunday, and it looks differently and feels differently from any other Palm Sunday I can remember. There will be no traditional palm fronds for me to wave. No congregation to wave them with.
Instead, I walk around the farm searching for something green, something that resembles a palm, so that I could place myself in the narrative of that very first Palm Sunday. So that I could stand in solidarity with my ancient brothers and sisters and greet my Redeemer King who rides into the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Yes, I know that Holy City will be anything but holy as this week progresses. Our fears and insecurities and doubts will do their best to shadow God’s blinding and beautiful hope…but hope will shine on.
I can’t find anything comes close to a palm frond, let alone any green branch to wave. Nature is still slumbering here in Vermont. There are only a few buds on the trees and the seemingly fragile shoot of tulips and daffodils are just now peeking from the ground.
And so, with no palms or branches of any kind in my hand, I stand in my field and search deep down inside for a sweet hosanna to sing.
Hosanna…hosanna…blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna.
The search seems futile. I hear no praises coming forth, just laments. Friends are getting sick. Hospitals are filled to the max. Loved ones are dying. Jobs are being lost.
This Palm Sunday looks differently from others. This Palm Sunday feels differently than others. And that’s a good thing. For this Palm Sunday is truly bringing me into the narrative with my ancient brothers and sisters. And whether we have palm fronds in our hands or not, we do stand in solidarity with those who first greeted the Savior riding in on a humble donkey.
Like them, we stand on the side of a road filled with troubles and turmoils, and we join the ancient cry. “Hosanna!,” which means “save us.”
Yes, save us, God. Save us from this pandemic. Save us from ourselves. Save us from our doubts. Save us from our insecurities. Save us from our greed. Save us from our fears.
Save us from our preference to live in darkness, and bring us into the light of your Son, Christ, our Lord.
With no palms in my palm this Palm Sunday, I lift my hands up to the sky, pleading and praising. And I continue my walk onward.