Today, across Christendom, churches will celebrate Palm Sunday; many churches will also celebrate Passion Sunday. Today, we hurdle into Holy Week--many pastors will be leading as many as 15-20 services between this morning and Easter evening. Even at my relatively small church (we commune 75-125 on an average Sunday), we will have 2 services this morning, 2 on Maundy Thursday, 2 on Good Friday, and 3 on Easter Sunday--unless my Pastor decides to add a morning service on both Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Today, many of us will receive palms. The leftover palms will be burned and mixed with oil and saved for next year's Ash Wednesday service, where they will be smudged on our foreheads and we will be reminded of our essential dusty nature.
Palm Sunday reminds us that the people who will be our friends today may turn on us tomorrow. The adoring crowds of today may turn accusatory by the end of the week. And yet, as we journey through our lives, suffering every sort of betrayal, the Holy Week trajectory reminds us of the joy we will also experience along the way: good meals with friends, deep conversations, a God who so wants deep connection with us that he will wash our feet.
And the hectic hurry of Holy Week ends in Easter, where we are reminded of the ultimate promise: no matter how bad it gets, God has a plan. We may not be able to see it, we may not be able to believe it, but God is hard at the work and play that is the redemption of creation.
Now that's Good News!