Palm Sunday approaches. We remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem:
The huge crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and scattered them on the road. The crowds who went on ahead of him, and those who were following behind, shouted out:
"Hosanna now to David's Son!
God's blessing on the coming one -
the one who comes in the Lord's own name!
Hosanna in the highest!"
When they came into Jerusalem, the whole city was gripped with excitement.
For us, this year will be different. There will be no procession and no palm crosses. So when we cannot gather, when there will be no crowd, how do we remember - and how do we welcome Jesus?
Thankfully, a species of tree is not the only thing that can claim to be a 'palm'. We all have our own palms to hand* so please do bring a palm cross on Sunday (see the photo above for an example!).
To place us even more firmly into the Palm Sunday narrative, since most of us don't have a palm tree in our homes or gardens (although we actually do!) we will be adopting a Polish tradition and making our own. You can make your palm tree out of anything you like but it should be things that can be found in your home and/or garden - going out to buy things would not count as essential shopping! Bring your completed palm tree along with your palm cross on Sunday.
With our palm trees and palm crosses, we will be prepared for the coming of Jesus, for the coming of the King - but in these strange and sometimes difficult days, where do we find him? When we're told, "Look now! Here comes your king." where do we look? Left, right, under the bed?! Perhaps not... rather, it's maybe in quiet time or prayer; or in the faces of those we see next to us or on a screen; or in poems, music or art that bring us comfort; or in the beauty of nature emerging as we enter spring - those places where we find "food for the soul" are where we may well find God at work.
So "Look now!" to those things and people that nourish you. This year, it is without procession, without cacophonous noise, without ceremony but with quiet triumph - "Here comes your king."
With love and prayers
*Apologies for my awful humour... But I couldn't resist!