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Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

This week, as we join Jesus on the final leg of his journey to the cross of Calvary with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we pause to reflect on the power of the cross as a Christian symbol.

Once an instrument of Roman torture intended for the execution of criminals, the symbol of the cross was carried into the ‘Holy Crusades’ by misguided Christians intent on spilling the blood of ‘heathens’ in the name of the God of peace and Love.

The word crusade is derived from the Latin crux (cross), and the Spanish cruzada (to take up the cross). Beginning in the 11th century under the banner of the cross, Christians marched across Europe massacring Jews on the way to massacre Muslims in order to regain the holy places associated with Christian origins in the Holy Land. The symbol of salvation became a symbol of bigotry, destruction, suffering and death.

Early in the 20th century, another religious symbol of peace was hijacked by the Nazi regime and transformed into the swastika (Hakenkreuz), a symbol that still evokes the horrors of mass genocide and megalomania.

Throughout history, in the name of Christ, the giver of life and freedom, much suffering and death has been inflicted by those with power on those without. Just 205 years ago Britain finally passed legislation outlawing slavery, with which the Church of England was deeply involved.

We who wear the cross as a jewellery item or accessory have a responsibility to ensure our lives are lived in accordance with Christ’s Gospel of peace, and show the world by example the power of his amazing love and forgiveness.

 

Sunday 1st April 2012  

Mark 11: 1-11 [NRSV]  Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

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1When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.” ’ 4They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ 6They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve