I found that local primary school children were very quick to link the reign of the Palm Sunday “Prince of Peace” with the values of the Sermon on the Mount – the term’s lessons on generosity, forgiveness, trust and peacefulness. I recall my adolescent “aha!” experience when linking the Vietnam Conflict Peace Marches with the Palm Sunday rites.
As the drama of Holy Week, the period that begins with Palm Sunday and ends Easter Sunday, unfolds, it is instructive to allow the journey of Jesus to speak into our own journey. The Palm Sunday procession of welcome anticipates the hostility that arises when the implications of spending the currency of Christ’s reign begins to dismantle and threaten dehumanising but familiar, comforting institutional structures. The irritant must be removed. So “Crucify!” “Turn the boats back!” “Cut off their payments!”
But, in the meantime, “Hosanna to the Prince of Peace!”