Today is Palm Sunday. With the early Easter this year, we are still in the midst of winter. Each wee hint of spring mocks us. The grocery stores are well stocked with tulips, but we know another snow storm or two are probably around the corner. It´s been a long and brutal winter, and spring yearnings are deeper than usual.
Stepping into church this morning, we were welcomed by the most subtle of smells. The piles of fresh, green palms awaited us. I happily took the frond that was offered to me, and immediately lifted it up to my face, breathing in the greenness with delight.
There is a simplicity and beauty in the symbolism of Palm Sunday. After the sombre purples and bare branches of Lent, the red cloths and green palms are a welcomed burst of colour. Perhaps we appreciate them more because of their simplicity. They gently nudge the senses, without over-powering them.
Simplicity surrounded Our Lord as he made his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. His ride was a donkey. Waving palm branches welcomed him – green fronds plucked from nearby trees, nothing ornate or expensive.
What followed was a journey of accusations, humiliations, denials, torture, agony and death. The Hosanna moment was quickly forgotten, and the crowds turned on him. A crown of thorns and a cross for a throne became the ultimate paradox of glory, of true kingship fulfilled.