Sunday, April 1, 2012

Reflection for Palm Sunday

Reflection for Palm Sunday

Miniature bronze figures by German sculptor Ulrich Henn, on the doors of
St. James Cathedral, in Seattle, Washington


Lift up, O gates, your lintels;

reach up, you ancient portals,

that the king of glory may come in.

- Psalm 24:9



by Joseph H. Gilmore

O thou
whose name we do not,
have never known:
on that day,
did he enter the spirit
of the parade?
Did he laugh
at their gesture,
unlikely prophet
on an unlikely animal
shuffling toward
an unknown destiny?

Say thou.

Or did he look neither right nor left,
flint-faced, eyes fixed
on some undetermined distance,
deaf to the merriment
of the bystanders?

Say thou.

Did his heart race,
sensing danger,
but not knowing from where?
Did he wish
he had never prayed
for the coming of God in his life
with power,
and to his people
with power, love and justice?

Say thou.

When the people yelled,
"Save now!" did they mean:
"Now is the time for the people to be saved,
for we are God's
and we will live free and whole
or die
knowing that God is among us,
within us?"
Or did they mean:
"You there, hero!
Don't let them do you in.
We are counting on you.
We will pray for you.
And we will
tell the brave story of you to our children.
Good luck."

Say thou.

Did he still own the words
He borrowed from Isaiah
for his first sermon...
"the Spirit of God is upon me,"
or, as he rode,
was he rehearsing
his last prayer,
"My God, my God, why?"

You say, we beseech thee.

He was a danger
and a delight
thou knowest,
and following in his way is,
more than we bargained for.
He went up in flames,
and there has been light
ever since.

Hosannah in the highest!
Blessed are those, who
like him,
ride in to town

(from Eternity's Dance With Time)


One who has surrendered to it knows
that the way ends on the Cross-
even when it is leading through the jubilation of Gennesaret
or the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

-Dag Hammarskjold

Received from the Kirkridge Retreat Center, Bangor, PA 18013

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