Sunday 28 March 2021

Love, not hate


And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed cried out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!’

From MARK 11:1-10


Positions of celebrity and fame can be fragile. Certain newspapers and magazines are all too quick to catch someone out. The paparazzi swoops in, invading people’s privacy, claiming their story is in the pubic interest. Their claims are clarified by those who dip into their pockets to pay for a copy of the latest headlines, revelling in the downfall of a pop star or politician or who ever it may be. How quickly a situation can change.

And so too for Jesus. Yes, he has made his enemies, and there are many who have already plotted his downfall, planned his death. But for now, on that first Palm Sunday, Jesus is hailed as a King. The crowd sings ‘Hosanna!’ They strip trees of branches and remove the cloaks off their back to create a royal road for Jesus. A few days later, and the cheering of the crowds has turned deathly, as they cry, Crucify him! Crucify him!” This is his downfall.

Or so they think. Whilst Jesus enters Jerusalem, he is also entering the reality of his suffering and death. The difficulty of embracing his call, the cost of love, will be played out in Gethsemane, as he prays that the cup of suffering may pass from him, and yet still he seeks the Father’s will. Far from being his downfall, Jesus breaks the power of sin and death. He is raised from the dead, raised to the heights of heaven. Our downfall is transformed. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.


Loving Father, through love for us you sent your Son into the world. Our pain is his pain, our death is his death. May we also share in his resurrection. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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