Making Arrangements

One year ago, when I wrote the Palm Sunday reflection, I would not have imagined that we would have the “opportunity” of celebrating our second Holy Week, our second Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday Services, not to mention our second celebration of resurrection on Easter Sunday in a virtual manner.
As I reflect upon those who would have gathered in Jerusalem for Passover thousands of years ago, I am reminded of those who, during the last year, have gathered in our streets advocating for their and other people’s rights, in emergency rooms seeking medical treatment, who have stood in line for food and other resources. Gatherings are significant.
Biblical records teach us that people threw blankets in the streets for Jesus to walk on as a show of respect, in a spirit of hospitality. Biblical history also teaches us that Jesus sent some ahead of his arrival into the city to make arrangements for a donkey, upon which he would ride into the city of Jerusalem. It was likely these same followers who made arrangements for a private room in which they would share the last supper. Jesus would have known his upcoming fate as he rode through the city with people praising him as the Prince of Peace.
Reflecting upon that day, which we now recognize as Palm or Passion Sunday, I wonder for whom we would make arrangements. I wonder about the love in Jesus’ heart, continuing to serve, even as he knew he would be betrayed and assassinated. I wonder how many more shootings will occur before we have the courage to insist upon safety for all of God’s children. I wonder how many more phone calls, letters, postcards and emails will need to be shared with our legislative representatives and local leaders to ensure the rights and needs of those who have gone unnoticed, unserved or underserved for their entire lives will finally be answered. I wonder when we will finally insist upon the protection of our planet Earth, the only “home” we have all known as a people. I wonder when we will be able to gather in the streets to celebrate the day when the gap between those who have and those who have not has been eliminated or at a minimum, significantly shrunk?
Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to live by the scriptures which teach us how to be in relationship with God, one another and our planet? Wouldn’t it be awesome if people didn’t have to take to the streets to remind us that they matter, that their needs aren’t any different from our own? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to remind those in power (political and otherwise) of the “next right action” to be taken?
As we prepare to move into this holiest of weeks in the Christian tradition, I invite you to reflect upon the ways in which you have been and are practicing self- and other- care in your life. I encourage you to embody the humility shown by Jesus as he rode the donkey as the Prince of Peace. I invite you to ask the God of your understanding how to unite the care/s you embody with the example of Jesus as we reflect upon his life and entry into the city of Jerusalem.
Wishing you peace,Pastor Patty

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