Fairhaven Shorts 3-24-2024

Fairhaven Shorts 3-24-2024

The Symbolism of Palm Sunday

And I think this is the same feeling that marks the end of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. There's a sense of snapping out of the moment and then into a kind of almost kind of eerie, well now what? What's next? The story of Palm Sunday is in all four Gospels, which is kind of unusual. You don't see a lot of stuff that's in all four, but what characterizes Mark's Gospel version in particular is that this royal parade, this procession, is just completely anticlimactic. I'll bet you didn't notice.

You can go back and check if you want to, but during the reading you might not have noticed that there are no palms to be found in Mark's version. Mark says they cut down branches in the fields and they're waving branches, leafy branches, but no palms. And palms were a very specific symbol of a victory, kind of like a laurel crown in the ancient world there. And palms then, you think they must imply something that Mark's not trying to say. Maybe Mark's not trying to say this is a victory parade at all. Not yet.

The Joy of Parades in Childhood

But when I was young, some of my favorite, absolute can't miss events of the year were parades. They're one of the most joyful, magical occasions for a kid because it is such a difference. You're allowed to play along the road, for example, right? But all kinds of fascinating vehicles and floats and marchers roll past.

Everyone from the fire chief to the mayor to the Butler County Junior Dairy Princess, you know, smiles and waves, throws you a handful of Tootsie Rolls. And it's better than trick or treat because the candy comes to you.