Imagine an empty road… littered with trash, leftover palm branches, a forgotten cloth (I didn’t have the time or energy to paint it). It’s Monday, the day after Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the moneylenders are back in the temple, business as usual…until Jesus turns over their tables.
I wonder what life after covid-19 will look like. Will it be business as usual? If there is one thing I learned from the August 12 events in Charlottesville, it is that we don’t want to go back to normal…
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
About 10 years ago I participated in an Engaging Pastors Holy Week Retreat: In the above picture I followed the crowd through the passion narrative (probably Luke’s gospel). Today we find ourselves on the threshold of Holy Week, we join the crowd in Jerusalem waiting for a king, someone to save us and set us free. The excitement ripples through the crowd, he is coming “Hosanna to the son of David. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” And he comes, he appears but what an unexpected sight, “Who is this?” the people ask. The people who cry Hosanna today, will shout crucify him five days from now. Life and death are colliding.
This year like no other, the setting of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem appears in a new light. These days, the crowd, the people, the community can make the difference in life and death with covid-19. We also yearn to be saved, to be set free. Who is the Jesus we expect to show up? Who is the Jesus we encounter? How is God at work and present in our midst?
With the prophets we proclaim, with the scriptures we declare, with the saints we pass on that in Christ death has lost it’s sting, perfect love casts out fear and that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. Hosanna in the highest!