Monday, April 2, 2012

2012.04.01 A Day of Fools and Palms

I feel as if I should be writing about Palm Sunday, the time Christians become re-enacters to the maximum!

It is, after all, Palm Sunday. And I can't muster the energy to heave myself out of my mood and follow the flock.

This Sunday we Christians remember the whole enchilada of Jesus as the New Testament story goes: riding into Jerusalem on a donkey thronged by cheering fans. Huge crowds, according to the embellishments of biblical-ese, were more likely small crowds, stragglers probably. They followed Jesus along the road, these hope-against-hopers waving palm pompoms.

Jesus, they hoped, would make it all come true —divine justice for the poor and desolate, a messianic social re-organization. PEACE.

It would be “thy kingdom come” come true, so they thought.

To me just now the triumvalism feels pointless, silly, utterly incongruent. Pitiful really: that we gather in tiny groups and make a tiny parade waving our shreds of palms and singing of glory, laud and honor—our every step shadowed by death.

I have never been present in any parish church Palm Sunday processional “crowd” where enough energy was marshaled to make us sound like a group of enthusiastic believers. Never. The joyful words turned to dust in our hosanna mouths.

We know what happened when Jesus spoke truth to power in Jerusalem. We know that power won, and keeps winning. We know the mission as planned failed.

It is psychologically impossible to move my heart even to imagine the promise of Easter on this messy day of fools and frenetic palm-waving, because I'm living surrounded by a parallel parable.

It’s deafening—the media and politicos each and all squawking and screeching positions. I even agree with some of them, but I can’t bear the cacophony. Its sound is shrill and its energy killing.

So why do we Christians, we Christ-hopers, keep up the charade as we stand on the lip edge of disaster?

I don’t know. I simply don’t know. So I cast my lot with Jesus and the fools and follow anyway, mouthing dry words and fighting back tears.

Where am I going? Tell me the truth, my God.

Please make me a pretty palm cross.