​Rector's Reflections (Palm Sunday)

​Rector's Reflections (Palm Sunday)


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Published by Gareth Regan on Tuesday, 7 April 2020 21:20

Rector's Reflections (Palm Sunday)

As we anticipate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, there can be a sense of dislocation between the events of Palm Sunday and what we are experiencing in our world, our country and our communities at this difficult time. The threat of the Corona virus is ever present and the atmosphere of anxiety, dislocation, isolation and even death, speaks far more to the passion narrative itself than the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem.
Yet it is at such a time with Jesus approaching his own death, 'knowing His time had come,' that He allows a moment of joy to punctuate the pervading gloom. We observe a huge gathering of people, pressing in on him, laying down cloaks and palm branches as he approaches Jerusalem; loudly proclaiming him to be the Son of David, the expected Messiah.
Unusually, Jesus accepts this adulation and His response to the Pharisees who asked that He rebuke the crowd is, "I tell you, if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out." Why does he say this? Perhaps he was able to see beyond His imminent passion and heard in the praise of the people a prophetic anticipation of His resurrection and ascension and his triumphant entry into heaven. The consummation at the end of the age when He would return to the Jerusalem and set up His everlasting kingdom. The defiant conviction that death would not not have the last word!
So, in this Palm Sunday narrative there is perhaps a lesson for us all and a message to us at this extra ordinary time in the life of our nation and our world. If there is, it is that we can find echoes of resurrection life ourselves, in these most difficult of situations. It might be in the generosity that such times can foster in us and others or our appreciation of our loved ones, our friends and family. Our thankfulness to those who are working tirelessly to overcome this crisis and work with us and for us through it.
You may, like many around the country last night have stood on your doorstep to applaud NHS staff, shop workers, the emergency services, refuse collectors, postmen and teachers, who continue to serve us during this time at great personal risk to themselves.
Just as in Jesus' day, moments like this can bring out the best (and the worst) in people. May God help us always to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, to celebrate the goodness that is being demonstrated all around us whilst bearing with the shortcomings of the weak.
Please join with me in a prayer for all those affected by the coronavirus:

Keep us good Lord,
Under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.