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A Political Palm Sunday March

A Political Palm Sunday March

To celebrate Palm Sunday, kids from First Baptist Church and First Christian Church in Jefferson City, Mo., marched together this morning while waving palm branches and singing "hosanna!" Sadly, it was too cold for the donkey to join us this year.

The trip from the churches, which sit next to each other, first took us past the Governor's Mansion (where I guess Pilate lives).

We then ended the march in front of the Capitol (where I guess the Sanhedrin meets).

Marching past the political sites actually helps capture part of Palm Sunday. Jesus's entry was political. But it was a nonviolent revolution that challenged the imperial powers that colluded to kill him.

"Two processions entered Jerusalem on a spring day," Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan write in The Last Week. "From the east, Jesus rode a donkey down the Mount of Olives, cheered by his followers. ... On the opposite side of the city, from the west, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Idumea, Judea and Samaria, entered Jerusalem at the head of a column of imperial cavalry and soldiers. Jesus's procession proclaimed the kingdom of God; Pilate's proclaimed the power of empire. The two processions embody the central conflict of the week that led to Jesus's crucifixion."

Like Jesus, our group walked toward the Capitol today from the east. Fortunately, there wasn't a military parade coming in from the west side! But that imagery should help more fully see the radical nature of the parade on that first Palm Sunday. We still need that kind of political resistance today.


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