Palm Sunday


Palm Sunday

The Dominus Flevit Church, built in the shape of a teardrop on the upper slopes of the Mount of Olives, is said to be where on Jesus’ triumphal journey into Jerusalem he stops, in Luke’s account, to weep over the city. 

He is surrounded by crowds shouting words of praise and adulation and waving palm branches. But it is a bitter-sweet moment. Jesus knows what entering this city will lead to. A week later the crowds will not be shouting ‘Hosanna!’ but ‘Crucify!’

This moment when Jesus stops to look out over the city is represented in the church by the tiny horizon altar with, unusually, a window behind it.  It is as if the whole life of the city is laid out on the altar. As we enter this Holy Week we might be laying our world and our city before God too, and crying out as Jesus does, as we experience the sense of dislocation that the conronavirus has brought to us all and those we are concerned for and the fear we may be carrying ourselves.

From this point on Jesus’ journey will feel dislocated. But what we see in this moment is that Jesus stops, even in the midst of this triumphant crowd. He doesn’t get carried away by their excitement and joy, but stays true to who he is, and the deepest purposes of God. Can we find that same inner resolve and peace to be with Jesus in these holy days, to stay connected, to stop and take moments to connect to God and discern his purposes for us in the midst of this crisis for our world?

Soon Jesus himself will go down and enter the gate of the city – he will lay out his life on the cross, out of love for the whole world. Be open in this moment, even in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic, to hear his invitation to follow…on the way of the cross…because it is truly the way of life and peace.

Prayer for Palm Sunday

True and humble king,
Hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
Grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you
on the way of the cross
Which is the path of glory.

Rev’d Katherine Hedderly