It's going to be a big Sunday for us at John Knox. Palm Sunday, with the kids parading through the congregation with palms to help us begin worship. The congregation will be smiling, and the kids will be a little sheepish. The mood will be cheerful as we begin Holy Week.
I don't think this resembles the original very much, though. It was a parade of confrontation, setting the stage for the showdown between the powers that be and the Power of God. Where would we have found ourselves that day? Rebeliously shouting and following Jesus, before ruunning away when push came to shove (a few)? Among the Religious People, shouting at Jesus for decency and order (most of us Presbyterians)? Or with the ordinary people, just giving the commotion a quick glance before going on with our own business (just about everybody else)?
We've made Palm Sunday pretty tame, when it's really about Godly confrontation: Freedom Riders sitting at a southern lunch counter, or a single Chinese man standing in front of the tanks on Tiananmin Square. At the end of the day, it's about choosing whose side you're on. And proving it.