Palm Sunday Reflections

In worship yesterday I spoke some about Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem in contrast to Pilate’s entrance into Jerusalem. Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan lift up an intriguing scenario in their recent work, “The Last Week.”

Two processions entered Jerusalem on a spring day in the year 30. It was the beginning of the week of Passover, the most sacred week of the Jewish year.

One was a peasant procession, the other an imperial procession. From the east, Jesus rode a donkey down the Mount of Olives, cheered by his followers.

On the opposite side of the city, from the west, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, entered Jerusalem at the head of a column of imperial cavalry and soldiers.

Jesus’ procession deliberately countered what was happening on the other side of the city. Pilate’s procession embodied the power, glory, and violence of the empire that ruled the world. Jesus’ procession embodied an alternative vision, the kingdom of God.

I then asked some tough questions about what that alternative vision would look like in light of this Wednesday being the 5th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq and the following:

As of Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at least 3,987 United States Citizens have been killed in Iraq.

Nearly 30,000 more have been seriously wounded in their service.

As of February 9th, 2008 between 80,000 and 90,000 Iraqi Civilians have been killed due to violence in Iraq.

To date the war in Iraq has cost more than $500 billion dollars.

This cost equates to approximately $4,100 per household.

As of last Sunday, the cost of the war is expected to be $12 billion dollars per month in 2008.

I didn’t receive a lot of feedback from people in the congregation (and I never know if that’s a good sign or not), but would love to hear any you might have. Thoughts? Reflections? I’d love to hear them.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Palm Sunday Reflections

  1. Michael

    I give you props for having the courage to preach that sermon. I think you succeeded at getting the congregation to think about the practical implications of their political ideology without alienating anyone. If anything, I felt as if you were almost too apologetic. Granted, we find ourselves in the same camp on this issue, but I don’t feel it’s necessary to apologize for asking thought-provoking questions.

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