Luke 19:28-40 – Palm Sunday – for March 24, 2013
“(T)he whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully . . .” (Luke 19:37)
We call it Palm Sunday. Luke’s Gospel said . . .
As Jesus rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen . . .
Soon, the swirling dust on the wending, sun-scorched path settled down. After the colt carrying Jesus passed by, most of the crowd reclaimed their cloaks. But some clothing was left, trampled to the color of dirt and unnoticed or simply forgotten by their owner.
Out on the road, encircled by the ancient hills, the shouts faded. In the distance, people inside Jerusalem’s walls now cheered—or jeered—the man from Nazareth, the echo of their voices ebbing and flowing.
A quiet returned to the pilgrim’s route that serpentined east to Jericho, the Jordan River and beyond. Though soon, another crowd or caravan would likely approach the City of David. This was, after all, the city of prophets and dreamers. And yet also the city of profits and losses, where a few hoarded Caesar’s silver while most of the rest begged for even a single copper coin. Here, since David’s reign, thieves and princes, whores and virgins, priests and pretenders all scrambled to achieve their dreams and schemes.
Still, there were those abandoned cloaks, along with other detritus of frantic human activity scattered across the road: discarded bits of bread, frayed sandal straps, shards of pottery and the like.
When crowds gather, there was always litter.
* * *
A man with a limp—years before a Roman wagon, heavy with grain, rolled over his foot—struggled back home. He rehearsed the speech he’d deliver to his wife and neighbors.
“This Jesus fellow will cure everyone. They say he’s a healer. They say all you have to do is touch his garment. They say there’s God’s power to him. If only I had gotten closer today, I would’ve touched him. And so I’ll go the city and try again tomorrow. I’ll grab onto him and won’t let go. He will cure me. With one miracle, everything will change for the better.” Continue reading →