Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday 2011

When Jesus and his disciples had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, `The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

"Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

"Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee." Matthew 21:1-11

The dust settles the crowd dispersed
the loud shouts gone silence and dirt covers
palm leaves strewn everywhere mess and debris
the children dragged home dusty, hungry
parading around is thirsty work and confusion.

Those same leaves of adoration woven
into whips will shred the skin
break the heart
love planted by the road side
a day's entertainment a group activity
something for the kids to do
by dusk will turn to treachery.

Shallow and distracted they flit from fad
to star tasting and trying moved by peers
shallow rhetoric, catch phrases
empty and inconsequential
they wander home awaiting
yet another amusement, a parade
a lynching, something to stimulate
the body and mind, to get juices flowing
and keep conversation moving.

They took their palms and their jealousy
winding nooses, braids of whips
burials cloths and resentment
fueled rage.

They took their need and shame tossing
it all on another the scape goat
the identified sacrifice the labeled one
the one destined for the cross
who loved them most.

They took palms and condemned him
we take palms and reject him
we parade and chant, pray and sing
and bury our deep seated jealousies
with the knife in his back.

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