Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Palm/Passion Sunday – C2a

I am always thankful for TextWeek.com and the lectionary resources it provides.

In particular is TextWeek's reference to this week's essay by Dan Clendenin ("He's Subverting Our Nation!") and his "weekly webzine for the global church" journeywithjesus.net. If you have wondered about a Palm Procession being public political theatre, Dan's essay is a helpful way into this image.

Here we are doing Palm Sunday, not Passion Sunday. There is something overwhelmingly important about the passage of time during pre-Easter week. It is not a matter of trying to package the whole thing so folks can easily swallow it on a Sunday and not have to actually do something with their bodies until the following Sunday. This may give folks a nodding acquaintance with the consequences of actions growing from expansive love (some form of dismissal) but it doesn't equip them for an actual breakthrough of expansive love beyond consequences (some form of renewal).

Liturgically this is still a Sunday in Lent (a resurrectional experience in the midst of an incomplete world). To do a Passion Sunday well, means leaving us dead for a week, instead of two/three days - and not even Jesus went past four days with Lazarus.

Another approach is to raise the question of evangelistic results. I wonder if the Lilly Endowment folks could get behind a study of Palm/Passion Sundays and its effect on membership growth? By now decisions about Palm/Passion Sunday have been made for this year, so this is simply a prod to walk the whole week next year and not take a shortcut.

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