This is a confusing service, for you are invited to fully experience the two very distinct parts of this worship service (the Liturgy of the Palms and the Liturgy of the Word) and to live a bit in the tension between the two.
The Liturgy of the Palms, with its triumphal procession, modulates into a penitential Eucharist dominated by the solemn proclamation of the Passion gospel. Our service begins with the pomp and glory of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem with shouts of “Hosanna” to our King. These hosannas soon change to “Crucify him, crucify him,” as the Passion is narrated and dramatically proclaimed. In this service, we will experience joy, mystery, tension, intrigue and pain. I invite you to settle into each one of these emotions, for within them, we experience God’s redemption of the world.
We are all part of this great drama. The truth of the day is that we are all responsible, through our sins, for the Passion and Death of our Lord. The glory of this day is that we know by faith the truth of the Resurrection and the promise of everlasting life, which God offers to us through the sacrificial love Jesus showed on the cross.
We are not merely observers of this sacrificial love, we are participants in that love, for through this Palm Sunday service we become a part of God’s redeeming and saving work. This work is happening here at St. Andrew’s and is among us each time we leave our church and take the love of Jesus shown to us on the cross and bear it out into our world. Then, and only then, can we again shout, “Hosanna in the highest” for Christ is among us again.