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

10 Responses

    1. If I mentioned Palm Sunday or Easter or Christmas at the Lord’s Table I would be called in by the elders for a discussion on why I was talking about Catholic holidays. Any suggestion that one Sunday is more important than another is met with suspicion. Too much happiness is viewed with suspicion, also.

        1. John,

          Easter is far more scriptural than VBS. VBS involves marching in the infantry, flying o’er the enemy, and shooting the artillery — all in ways that appear much like dancing. And eating in the building.

          If only we’d give adults permission to come to Jesus like children …

    1. We in Tuscaloosa have had Christmas trees on stage for a decade or more pre-Christmas. We spend December filling the stage with gifts, with wrapping paper, ribbons, and all.

      And we’ve done Easter as long as I can remember. We’ll have a Good Friday service Friday night.

      Don’t know what the other churches in town do, but we’re going to hell for clapping, so that frees us to do all sorts of stuff.

  1. For a denomination that started as a unity movement we have an amazing amount of disunity. I have to deal with people who say that no Church of Christ observes Christmas or Easter because if they do, they have left the faith and are no long a true CoC. A Christmas tree might be a bit much but some recognition of the days set aside to remember Jesus’ birth and death would help us in reaching out to the unchurched in our communities. As it is, I wouldn’t invite a friend to services with me this time of year or in December for fear he would be subjected to an anti-Easter or anti-Christmas sermon.

    Without a central hierarchy or a common “brotherhood publication” as in the old days, I doubt if most congregations even know how diverse we have become. Do the progressives know that some congregations still preach plenary inspiration of scripture, dancing and mixed swimming are sinful, we are the only true Christians, and membership in local ministerial associations means acceptance of the denominations? Do the conservatives know that Christmas programs are becoming common and that some congregations work with non-CoCs in benevolent programs such as soup kitchens and clothing give-aways?

    How can we reach out to the lost when we can’t even reach out to each other?

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