Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Hush Before Holy Week

Here we are, the day before Holy Week begins.  It's hushed here, lights twinkling in the mango tree in my neighbor's back yard, which puts me more in an Advent mood than a Holy Week Eve mood.

I'm thinking of Palm Sundays I have known.  Last year in Williamsburg, we didn't have palm branches, but these leafy stems would do.  Strange to stand on colonial streets and wave those branches.  Strange to think about power and what happens when we stand up to worldly power as we stood on colonial streets.

Many churches will be using palm crosses.  Will church members have made them or will they be ordered from special charities? 

I live in a world where I'm surrounded by palms.  I should be in a Palm Sunday mood all the time.

My favorite Palm Sunday memory:  in 2006, our church was still a bit ravaged by Hurricane Wilma.  We'd ripped out the ruined carpeting, but we still had concrete floors uncovered by anything.  My spouse cut down palm branches and laid them up the aisles.  It was visually stunning.

It also confused people.  They didn't want to step on the branches.  They couldn't figure out how to get to their seats.  They managed, of course.  I want to think that the palms jolted people out of the kind of complacency we can sink into, when we celebrate these holidays again and again.

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