Monday, March 29, 2010

Palm Sunday 2010

The first notable story by an English author to make use of time travel was Charles Dickens in a Christmas Carol. In that story Ebenezer Scrooge is transported both backwards and forwards in time. Though the time frame is Scrooge's own lifetime, the fact that Dickens conceived of a story as being able to move in time was revolutionary.

The idea of time travel has worked itself into our culture such that Back to the Future, the Time Machine, and Albert Einstein all tie into one another.

Meanwhile no one said it better than T. S Eliot in his poem Ash Wednesday when he wrote:

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past.

I offer this little prologue by way of inciting a little time travel right here.

Palm Sunday marks the occasion of Jesus¹¹ entrance into Jerusalem.

The Gospels recount how Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and how the people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees. The people sang, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father, David." (Psalms 118:25-26

Now this entrance into Jerusalem was not welcomed by everyone. The Romans were uneasy, the Temple priests off guard, the disciples were wary; the people loud in their acclaim could also be fickle; the Pharisees were suspicious; the Greeks thought it was a holiday; and slaves and bondsmen everywhere wondered if this was the beginning of their freedom. Had the deliverance from slavery, promised on the Passover, be occurring at this time , in this place, and to them?

In the crowd are lawyers and artisans, sinners and zealots, centurions and hosuewives, foreigners and beggars. Passover is a pilgrimage feast so the streets are thronged with the dutiful and the enthusiastic.

You get the picture. So if you could time travel back to that Sunday and if you could in the manner of Star Trek beam yourself into the shoes of some person in Jerusalem on that great occasion, I ask you What do you see? What catches your eye?

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