"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Palm Sunday Reenactment

I so wish I had taken a picture of him. There he stood on the 2nd step surrounded by a host of other little worshipers waving their arms while singing songs to the top of their tiny lungs. The smaller children had processed in to "Hosanna, Loud Hosanna," waving high their palm branches, probably totally unaware of exactly what they were reenacting. They had lined up neatly on the steps leading up to the platform, smallest to tallest -- and may I just say, every one of them was cute as a button.

Even the little boy who stood in the center.

When I say "stood," I mean exactly that. While the little fellow to his right kept hitting him in his face with his theatrical waves and the little girl on his right did the same, he didn't flinch a muscle except to bat his eyes to keep them from being poked out by the drama going on all around him. I was mesmerized by him, and couldn't help but lean over to one of the children's directors and ask, "Who is that little boy?" She whispered his name to me and said, "We hardly got him to walk down the aisle; much less sing." Bless his heart, those big brown eyes just stared straight ahead.

I've always deemed myself a church girl and with that comes loving to celebrate certain days on the church calendar. One such day being Palm Sunday -- the one we celebrate today. But as a church musician, and since most of us don't gather again until Easter morning, I often find myself in a quandary as to what to play on this particular Sunday. Do I stick with the celebratory "Hosanna!" and "Glory, Laud and Honor!" or do I try to incorporate the darker pieces of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday? This morning I chose the latter and used "Go to Dark Gethsemane" for special music in the middle of the service.

I've thought a lot today about that little boy standing front and center. So stoic. So free of emotion or song. And I've wondered: did he get it? Could a child that young understand what was happening? Could he himself have been reenacting the role of Jesus? That One who entered on the back of a donkey arrayed with fishermen's coats because there was no royal apparel? That One of whom the crowd sang, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" as they waved palm branches? That One whose entourage consisted of street people, mentally ill men, questionable women, and inept disciples? Could it be that He alone knew what kind of parade He was in? A parade that was leading Him straight to the cross. And to His death.

Maybe the 2 selections of music were nothing short of appropriate after all. Hosanna and Gethsemane. And maybe, just maybe, that little tyke standing front and center was the only one who really got it. And if not? Well, he certainly played his part well.

Just an ordinary moment...