This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday.
The week before Easter.
For those who don’t follow the Christian calendar, Psalm Sunday may not mean as much as the Sunday that follows.
But Palm Sunday is important. And maybe more so than you realize.
Where I preach, we will be handing out palm branches. They have symbolized victory in a span of time that reaches far, far back into the ancient world–to a period even before the Christ.
Indeed, palm branches are ancient history and they proclaim victory!
We all want to be victorious in some avenue or endeavor.
We want to win the game.
We want to win the girl/ boy.
We want to win the job.
We want to win the prize.
We want to win the election.
We want to win at life.
Nobody likes being a loser!
For those Jews some 2000 plus years ago, they were tired of losing–politically, socially, and economically. And so the palm branches represented the victory of the conquering King they dreamed and hoped for.
Today, we can understand those branches in a more meaningful way. We no longer have to be subjected to wishful dreaming. We no longer have to wait and wonder in breathless expectation.
Victory? Yes, to be sure!
But the victory we celebrate is not the winner of the oval office or any other political manifestation. No, the victory we celebrate is the ultimate triumph of hope! It is the accomplished work of the now Reigning King! And that is hope I can live with!
In Luke’s version of Palm Sunday (Luke 19), Jesus is asked to quiet His disciples for their affirmations were disturbing and offensive to the political and religious power structure of the day.
I love Jesus’ response: “If they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out.”
This Sunday and every day as the song says…
Ain’t no rock, gonna cry in my place
As long as I am alive I’ll glorify His Holy Name!
On to the victory only Jesus can bring! May every day be a triumphant march of the soul!
Palm branches indeed!
Les Ferguson, Jr.
Madison/ Ridgeland, MS