Sunday, March 20, 2016

Life Reminders from Palm Sunday and Spring

Today churches across Christendom will celebrate Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus rides triumphantly into Jerusalem.  Of course, the same crowd that cheers for Jesus will just a few days later be screaming for his death.  Many churches will cover the whole Holy Week story today:  Palm Sunday has become Passion Sunday.

It is also the first day of Spring here in our hemisphere.  Here are some thoughts swirling in my brain this particular Palm Sunday and Spring:

--Palm Sunday shows us the folly of fame.  People may love you on one day and cry out for your crucifixion 5 days later.

--Spring, however, reminds us that the days of winter will not last forever. 

--Does every religion have a cycle of days that reminds humans that resurrection is not only possible but promised?  I think so.

--It's strange celebrating Spring down here in South Florida, where we haven't had winter, and we barely had any chilly days.  Still, through the years, I've noticed that in March, certain trees seem to bloom more brilliantly. Last year it was the yellow tabulinas.  This year, the bougainvillea blossoms seem a more technicolor hue than usual.

--Spring also reminds me that the shrubbery/trees that don't bloom brightly one year might be shining in a future year.  Spring reminds me not to give up.

--The Palm/Passion story reminds me that it's not about me, that we're characters in a larger narrative (as does the Passover story, which people across the world will be hearing this week too, in some Christian traditions, and next month, in the Jewish tradition).  We will find ourselves in great danger if we start to believe it's all about us, personally.

--I find many values to being part of a religious tradition, but the constant reminder of the larger vision, the larger mission, is one of the most valuable to me.  The world tells me that many things are important:  fame, money, famous/rich people, a big house, a swell car, loads of stuff.  My religious tradition reminds me of the moth-eaten nature of these things that the world would have me believe is important.  My religious tradition reminds me of the importance of the larger vision.  And happily, my religious tradition is expansive enough that my creative work can be part of that larger vision.

--Spring shows us that many types of work can contribute to the garden.  That, too, is an important message for me right now.

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