Blog Space of Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D, pastor at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, Ellicott City, MD

Monday, April 8, 2019

From the Palms to The Cross

From the Palms to The Cross

Last week here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church we were thinking about the perspective that Paul's experience of meeting Jesus on the Damascus Road gave to his life. Our sermon can be found here. This coming Sunday we begin our journey through Holy Week with our Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday service.

It is a sad reflection on human nature how quickly the cries of ‘Hosanna’ turned to cries of ‘Crucify.’ How easily public opinion can sway between welcome and condemnation. Today’s hero is tomorrow’s villain. Friar David Hirt, a spiritual director and supervisor, at St. Lawrence Seminary, in Wisconsin, offers the following reflection.

The taste of hosannas is still on my lips,
the smell of the palms as they patter against
the cloudless blue sky of Jerusalem’s day,
when David’s own scion comes riding a colt
and prophesy seems to arrive as we hoped.

While children, the children, all sing Him their psalms
and stones lying silent could echo their songs,
“Hosanna! Hosanna to David’s own son!”

When everything’s changed. The Messiah we have,
He isn’t the one that we want; not the king
who’ll ravage our foes and will raise up the House of God:
this grey temple we built with our hands.

A tremor now passes throughout the crowd,
come to celebrate Passover; start the great feast,
of Memory, held in the fullness of time,
and lived in again, in eternity Lord,
and “Crucify! Crucify,” echoes on still.

It bounces off stones and it shivers my soul.”

Such a reflection can recall to us the importance of seeking the guidance of God in both the good times and the bad times. If we go along with the voices of the crowd, we may end up cheering somebody on the way to their death. If we add our voice to shouts of condemnation we may be found accusing the innocent.

Seeking the still small voice of God amidst all the other voices that crowd in on us is never easy to do. Times in the Christian year, such as Holy Week, offer an opportunity to do some intentional “listening.” As we recall the fickle nature of the voices of the crowd we are invited to seek God’s guidance as to what is really going on!

For some music and further reflection the song “Were You There?” (featuring Andrea Thomas.)

Lord, our lives are influenced by many voices. Some cry out in fear. Some cry out in despair. Some seek to deceive us. Some come to tempt us. Amidst all the other voices, help us make time to hear Your voice. Speak to us through scripture. Speak in the silence. Speak to us we open our hearts in worship. Help us make the most of this Holy Week to discern Your will for our lives. Amen.

The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.

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