There is something about the practice of Holy Week that is ingrained in me from childhood.
On Sunday, in class, we talked about things we remember from our childhood celebrations of Easter and one of mine was Palm Sunday. I remember getting so excited to be given a palm branch at church.
I am not even embarrassed by how pathetic that sounds. I loved it.
I confess that every year, I hope our church hasn’t grown so large that we will forego the handing out of the palm branches to small children.
I was not disappointed. When I came down the stairs after class, I resembled a salmon swimming upstream as I merged into the flow of children leaving the nursery area and heading to the sanctuary. The palm branches were a-waving all around me.
Third service was packed. And as the praise team led us in a Hosanna-ish song, down the aisle poured child after child. Oh yes, some were bonking the kid in front of them on the head. There were fancy dresses and pastel vests and even colorful banners as they filled the already full sanctuary.
And then as if God hadn’t done enough, there must have been some extra palm branches, because I saw in some of the rows ahead of us that adults were starting to wave them.
Apparently there were only a few because at some point the well ran dry a few pews ahead of us. I didn’t care. I was smiling and crying and loving every palm-frond-waving second of it.
However, in the midst of the next song, a smiling friend who attends our class turned around and joyfully gestured back to me as she passed her palm branch through some people and into my undeserving hands!
Hallelujah and Hosanna!
It is resting on the table when you enter our home. Just like the days some …. well… a number of years ago … when these feet wore white patent leather shoes and lace ankle socks and waved her palm branch with the best of them.
As we walk through Holy Week, we remember.
We remember our past as children.
We remember our past as sinners.
We remember our “past” that we have been adopted into. Grafted into the family of God’s chosen people. We wave our palm branches and sing Hosanna, He is the God who saved us! Hosanna in the highest!!
Remembering… this is what Holy Week is about.