For the next three weeks we will be traveling with Jesus through Matthew's Passion narrative. In the fourth week of Advent we will be gifted the birth narratives of Jesus as presented by Luke. For now, we walk a challenging path, these first weeks of Advent.
Jesus enters Jerusalem today, riding a colt and/or a donkey, Matthew doesn't specify which one he is riding. Cloaks are spread on both animals and on the road in front of Jesus. Freshly cut branches, too, are placed on the ground, making for a grand and crunchy entrance, accompanying the sung Hosannas to the proclaimed king.
These praise-filled people disappear over the course of the Passion narrative, leaving Jesus to die on Calvary hill, accompanied by a faithful few. Excitement and expectation in this story lead to a resounding silence. What expectations have we established that have gone in a completely different direction? In hindsight, what should have been those expectations and how would have that changed landscape altered our life and our experiences?
Something hard, but important, to think on this first Monday, this first week of Advent.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Provincetown Harbor, 2006.