Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Not us

Looking ahead to Palm Sunday, here is my reflection on that fickle crowd:

Did you know?
When you sent your disciples to borrow that colt, did you know? Did you know that, as you rode on its back, the crowds would line the streets to greet you? Did you know the children would wave branches? You said that, if the crowds hadn’t shouted their welcome, the stones along the way would have called out in praise? So what was it all about? Some giant ego trip? A display of your popularity? Or did you have in your mind all along that prophecy that said that the king would ride on a donkey? Was it a giant political statement? A king without all the paraphernalia?
Or were you just plain stupid? I mean it couldn’t have escaped your notice that you’d really ticked off the authorities. Doing the kinds of things you did. Healing on the sabbath, encouraging folk to question their rulers. Even upsetting the economy by questioning their taxes. Why, if you had to be in the city - why didn’t you just skulk in quietly? Why the entourage? What part of - “they’re out to get you” did you not understand? Or was it that you’d played their game long enough. Now it was time to get the inevitable over with. If you were going to die, then let’s get on with it.
And as those crowds greeted you like a hero, were you able to enjoy it? Were you able to bask in their praises and forget, just for a while, that by the end of the week those same voices would be baying for your blood - and those same hands, palms raised in welcome and salute, would become clenched fists, demanding your execution?

And don’t you know, Jesus, that we would never do that?
We would never sing your praises one minute and call for your demise the next.
Not us who gather week in week out, in our Sunday best, singing your praise, reading your word.
No fickleness in us.
None of that going with the flow, following the crowd, saving our own necks.
Not us.
While that crowd were gunning for you, we would have been defending you, challenging them.
We would have been just as vehement in our defence of you.
We would have put our heads above the parapet and stuck up for you.
We would!
We would!
Well, Ok then, maybe we would have calmed our jets a bit.
I mean there would be no point in us all coming to a sad end.
It would be daft to follow you that far, stick our necks out so much that we lost them.
But we would at least have whispered “Leave him alone”.
Or, to be on the safe side, we would have kept quiet.
Stood in silence, while all around us, your fate was being sealed.
We would have stood our ground, quietly, as your execution papers were drawn up.
Ours would have been a silent protest.
That’s effective you know - standing quiet while there is raging all around us.
We would have stuck it out, quietly.
Don’t we make you proud.
Isn’t our loyalty and bravery just what you need?
Liz Crumlish 2008


Lythan said...

What a wonderful reflection Liz. It has put into words some of the questions about Jesus motivation that I want to pose to my evening congregation in worship. May I have permission to share this please? (I got to you via RevGals)

liz said...

I'm happy for you to share this. That's what revgals is all about. Thanks