Friday, March 30, 2007

Palm/Passion Sunday – C4

Palm/Passion Sunday – C4

Years C
Passion Sunday
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 22:14 - 23:56


There are different ways of emptying oneself. One way brings one to one's self (non-exploitation). Another way loses one's self (demanding). Both can be trancelike. Both are open to temptation and subversion.

We wrestle with this all the time. Is this a time to not respond? Is this a time to use every tongue at our disposal? What is obedience and what pride?

Pre-crucifixion, non-follower knees were unbent, goose-stepping toward mob rule. Post-crucifixion followers on bended knee demand a loyalty pledge be on the tip of everyone's tongue to roll off at a moment's notice.

We move from a passionate experience to being passionate about another's passion and, in turn, inflicting said passion upon others. What does it mean to follow one claimed to be non-exploitative and not exploit same for greater ends? This is an impossible line to walk without falling off on one side and then another.

So it is that someone's image of randomly handing some congregants a palm branch as they come to worship, while others receive a stone or nothing at all is a wonderful one. All of this: from exuberant praise, to stoning him softly with a cross, to not knowing what is happening or where to gain traction in the turmoil - is going on within and around us all the time.

May your right hand palm know what your left hand stone is doing that you might break both trances before they lead to one exploitation or another and someone ends up dead enough to require the preparation of spices and ointments. Such preparation is little enough sorrow and restitution for injuries done.

= = = = = = =

rail and roil
tumultuous living
claiming privilege
demanding rights
sturm and drang
rule our hearts
parade our passion

and on a sabbath
night and noon
rest happens
creation blooms
slavery breaks

we take the bodies
harmed and killed
in careful hands
and perfumed bands
to lay in pieces
our own brokenness

on bended knee
confession rolls
as it has before
tongues promise
yet again
calamity remembered

and on a sabbath
night and noon
hope happens
creation blooms
slavery breaks

. . .

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