Sunday, March 24, 2024

Palm Sunday, 2024

With four different priests, not to mention the addition of COVID protocols, the Palm Sunday liturgy for the Episcopal Church in Foster City has changed in each of the past five years. Today there would be no burning of incense, the services would not start outside, and there would be no marching around the block in emulation of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem.

One constant was the wearing of liturgical red by the priest and many in the congregation. Another was the reading of the Passion Gospel (Mark 14-15), with various church members voicing the parts of Jesus, Pilate, the "crowd," the chief Priest, etc.

When I was a child I couldn't identify with major sections of the Passion Gospel: how could His loyal disciples deny knowing Jesus? why would the crowd choose to free the murderer Barabbas and crucify the peaceful Jesus? how could He be cheered upon his entrance to Jerusalem yet hated enough to be put to death less than a week later?

The answer is obvious to anyone who follows the news and is a riposte to those who say that Christianity has no relevance today.

No comments: