Holy Week Reflections              Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA 

     April 17, 2011 

 Palm Sunday / Sunday of the Passion       

Blessed is the one
who comes in the name of the Lord.

My times are in your hand...
Psalm 31:15


Watching members of the congregation process awkwardly and sheepishly down the sidewalk, tiny palm branches held half-high, I am reminded of how difficult it is for all of us to transcend time. We are people of the here and now. But the Passion Sunday procession asks us to participate in the past, present, and future all at the same time.  It is about what is behind the text, what is in the text, and what is out in front of the text. We are obviously enacting Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.  At the same moment we are here, in our time, walking our contemporary baptismal journey. And we are walking in the promised future as the Body of Christ resurrected and made whole.


As preachers and teachers we speak a faith language that is analogical.  This parable, this Exodus, this lament, this welcome is about me, about my life, as well as being a historical reality, a contextual story, or an encounter between disciple and Jesus.  This Passion Sunday and Holy Week, we live into and live out the events of Jesus trial, death, and resurrection. He entered into human life, so that we might enter into his new life. Some of it can be spoken, preached, and prayed. But some of the deep realities must be enacted, walked, breathed. 


So they walk, tiny palms held half-high, trying to sing while they walk, worried that they might not get to their favorite pew. "Will my place be there?" they think.


And the answer is, beyond all doubt, beyond all time, "Yes!"



O God of mercy and might, in the mystery of the passion of your Son you offer your infinite life to the world.  Gather us around the cross of Christ, and preserve us until the resurrection, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.



We were baptized in Jesus, into his death and grave,

To resurrection's promise: praise and eternal life.

Heaven's own praises begin here

Where you yourself are near us, deep in our night and death.

                                                                        ELW 330


--Bishop Allan Bjornberg