Friday, March 26, 2010

Passion Sunday Year C - Conclusion

Some of us remember when Passion Sunday was Palm Sunday and if you wanted to hear what happened between “Hosanna!” and He is Risen!” you had to go to church on Thursday and Friday. At some point the passion was added to the palms and on this Sunday most churches will read the entire narrative. My good friend Pr. John Foster is going to preach against the tide and stick with the palms and I might be inclined to join him were it not for two words the congregation speaks in the passion narrative. “Crucify him!” The texts for Passion Sunday all point to that moment when the one who has been given the tongue of a teacher is condemned by those he was sent to teach. He embodies the psalmist lament facing those who schemed to take his life but trusting the One whose will he prayed be done. Emptied of power, prestige, and privilege he is found in human likeness as one familiar with suffering and acquainted with grief. And in the Gospel we follow the crowd from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify him!” so that there can be no mistake in identifying the guilty party.


  1. I agree with you about the liturgy of the Passion being more appropriate for Palm Sunday because it reminds me every time of the fickleness of our human nature. We begin the service with Hosannas, waving our palm fronds and celebrating the entrance of Jesus seated like a prince on a white colt. Like the people in Jerusalem, we follow after him with expectation, and like the disciples we share the bread and wine. But then we witness his anguish in the garden, his betrayal, arrest, trial, and suffering, the terrible torture and humiliation he endured. We are part of the mob calling for him to be crucified who we sang praises to, crying for the blood of him who worked miracles of healing, shouting for the death of the one who came to give us life. They are hard words to speak, but we need to say them because they are part of the truth we reflect on during Lent. We are dust and to dust we will return. We are human, weak and sinful. We do the things we do not want to do and we do not do the things we want to do. So we cry, "Crucify Him!" with the same lips that sang "Hosanna to King!" It reminds us of who we really are and why we need this one called Jesus. We are weak, so weak that we will take this life of love and crush it under the weight of our sins, breaking his body even as it breaks our hearts. Because his power is made perfect in our weakness.

  2. Wow, Carol! Well said!! 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made strong in weakness." really speaks to my heart. My husband was in the hospital and I was in the chapel searching for answers and God spoke to my heart with that verse! Thanks for sharing that, it was really something that I needed to hear :)