Over the past few years, I have come to love Palm Sunday. I love the fun and excitement when the kids are parading around the sanctuary with their palm leaves. I love the sense of throwing my lot in with Jesus - if I'd been around when he arrived in Jerusalem, I would definitely have jumped on his bandwagon! (or so I like to think...) And I love the anticipation of the upcoming Holy Week.
I also love this fresco, in the Scrovegni Chapel, of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, by Giotto (although alas, I have not yet been to Padua to see it in person):
So I'm in the church foyer this morning buying my weekly Superstore grocery card through the Shop and Support Program when Valerie slides alongside me and asks if I'm up for a challenge this morning. Er, uh...just what does this challenge entail, I ask. (One never knows just how big the challenges might be around here...best to be sure of what one is getting into!)
Turns out she needs one more "actor" in the skit that is to make up the morning's service, just a one line part. Ok, piece of cake, I can handle that no problem. She explains that I just have to shout out my line from the pews and then go stand with Jesus. And where will Jesus be? I ask, envisioning myself wandering all around like an idiot. Valerie replies, "Don't worry, you won't be able to miss him!" I take the script, put on my costume (aka a muted colour scarf over my head) and sit down to await my cue...
And that's how I ended up as a "Peasant Proclaimer" on Palm Sunday. (Well, it's better than being the donkey, isn't it?!)
A highlight of today's service was the "Broadcast from Radio Jerusalem". Valerie played the part of the announcer, providing commentary and cues to the others playing the various parts. Jeshua arrives with a band of peasant followers (children and a few adults, all waving palm fronds) and circle around the sanctuary. (The "crowd" was supposed to go wild at this, but the congregation needed a few not-so-subtle hints from Valerie before clueing in that we were the ones to provide the crowd noise!) At the appropriate time, I stand and shout:
Son of God, Prince of Peace, hail the Kingdom of Heaven!!
then make my way front and centre to join the band of Jeshua followers. There is a stand off between the Roman authorities and the Jeshua followers. The play ends with the announcer (aka Valerie) saying:
Those who have caught this vision of hope and justice cannot be silenced! Jesus will not be silenced! These are exciting times indeed. There is more to come.
It was actually quite fun, although I was boiling under the scarf (and decided I am thankful that I do not have to wear such a head covering as a matter of course!) I cannot wait to see what the rest of the week brings...