Palm Sunday

Weslaco, Texas - January 2011

Days begin with empty streets that gradually are filled as people pour into the avenues greeting friends and strangers.  So many people were in Jerusalem that day, the day of the palms.  Many had traveled far to visit family and celebrate the Passover together.  They were preparing to go to the temple.  They loved the beautiful temple that Herod was restoring.

It was a happy and joyous day, full of fun and singing.  It must have made the Roman guards a bit worried having so many people crowding together.  Mobs are difficult to handle.

Through the West Gate, Romans marched, led by men on horseback.  Their very presence was a threat of force.  Romans liked to keep order and kept it with the threat and promise of violence.  When they wanted to display a show of force, they marched through the city.  The strength of the Roman army encouraged the population to cooperate.  The crucifixions along the roads discouraged uprisings and lawbreakers.  Roman justice was quick and cruel.  The Empire came through the West Gate bringing wealth, power, and violence.

This was the Roman way, what they considered the best way to live.  But, there is another way to live, one that speaks of life, not death.

Through the East Gate, Jesus rode into Jerusalem, on the back of a donkey, not a magnificent war horse.   He came, speaking of forgiveness, loving your neighbor and even your enemy.  He spoke of sharing and caring for the poor, widow, and the orphan.  This is a way of living that makes communities strong and safe for everyone, even the weakest among us.  Jesus came through the East Gate, bringing justice, non-violence, and peace.

Make way for the King.

Ride on, O King, ride on to die.  Our hopes are pinned on you.

[Thank you to Lindy Black, Sermon Fodder, and her reference to Marcus Borg’s distinction between the King who comes through the West Gate and the King who comes through the East Gate.]

About Sonja Roberts Dalglish

I love people, math, physics, and theology. I love mysteries which may explain the list above. I am a polio survivor, having had the disease in August 1954. The vaccine was declared safe in April 1955. I am very pro vaccines. They have increased the health and well being of the world. Presently, I am living just west of Corpus Christi, in Kingsville. For naturalists, this seems to be where the coastal plane and the Wild Horse Dessert meet. It is flat which gives us beautiful sunsets. One of our concerns is climate change. We are already hot and dry and getting hotter and dryer. The cattlemen and women are having to graze fewer livestock these days.
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2 Responses to Palm Sunday

  1. mrthekidd says:

    Thanks for that, it’s really helpful and insightful – I know need to go and do some research 🙂

  2. Glad you found it interesting. I did, as well. One of our educators, as he was leaving, said that he would remember that – the distinction between the King who came from the West and the King who came from the East. Easter Blessings!

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