Monday, March 30, 2015

fabrics of Easter, day 2

While I was in college, one of my classmates grew up in a Catholic area. All the churches in her town, whether Catholic or Protestant, truly celebrated both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. I was amazed to hear some of her stories and her favorite memories, and could then easily understand how disappointed Easter was to her when she arrived and attended Baptist churches in the South. I think about her now every Palm Sunday, and wonder how people would respond if we started truly celebrating our most important Christian holiday.

Palm Sunday - the triumphant entry. I always thought it stupid as a child when I read fairy tales and a man or knight would place his cape or coat on the ground for a queen or princess to walk over.  It seemed most of my childhood I was reprimanded for "getting dirty" (as in playing in the dirt and pine straw...NOT how today's society uses that phrase). And I was always a bit puzzled by this passage in Sunday school:

The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. ~ Matthew 21:6-8

I get verse six and seven.  I've seen Moms use their coats or sweatshirts to roll up for a pillow or backrest for a small child or elderly relative. I've watched Dads take off their coats at a a cold football game and put it on the hard concrete for the Moms or kids to sit on...a way of helping them stay warm. And using coats to make both the donkey and Jesus more comfortable is a nice gesture...though I would have hesitated because Mom would have had a fit had I used my one good coat to put on a stinky animal that would ride off...with my coat...never to be seen again. Can you imagine how many times you would have to hear that same lecture over and over and over in the months to come? And then you get to verse eight...most of the crowd put their coats on the ground (ancestors of PETA people, perhaps?) but others used tree branches. I would have been one of the tree branch people.  I find it interesting that John's account includes the tree branches, but not the part about the coats, whereas Luke is the total opposite - he mentions only the coats, and that they did this throughout his ride, but no mention whatsoever of tree branches.

As much as I like to think I'd have paid Christ his due homage as he rode the donkey into Jerusalem, I don't think I would have been a throwing of the coat person, especially as a child or teenager. But tearing off a tree limb (even better having to climb the tree to do it!) or waving one up and down  while running up and down the road....that would have been much more in line with my character.

No comments: