Today is Palm Sunday. It is a glorious sunny day with a hint of cool in the air still. The daffodils still lingering, the hyacinths glorious and the tulips announcing themselves to the world. Spring at its best – the garden and the light are calling. Stuck indoors with acute hypersensitivity to noise, light, movement, chemicals, the garden beckons still, to come and celebrate Palm Sunday by giving thanks for all that is generously given by God, in nature especially, to bless this special day.
Yet across the fields, a mile away there is an event with an appallingly loud PA system, blaring out every word, unbelievably loud, so that they might as well be shouting in our garden, tormentingly noisy and painful.
The peace and the beauty, the stillness, the wonder of the day are wrecked for us. Every noise hurts, every word grates, harms, results in shaking and ends in paralysis.
It is surely not a fair transaction, in this spiritual place, that the person most in need of communion, the one in tormented nightmare suffering, is being battered ; our space invaded by a loud speaker system that has disregarded the privacy and respect for people’s lives across the fields, while they enjoy their celebration.
So we are left trapped in the cold and dark indoors, in a moment that could actually, for once, be blessed by the fresh air and the beauty of the garden, if it were not for this cacophony of sound, way too loud for anyone, ill or not.
We are for celebration and rejoicing, however why is it that so many seem to take that right for granted and do not take into account those more sensitive and vulnerable, who surely should have an equal right to prayer, praise, thanksgiving and the sunshine and fresh air on such a wonderful day, in their own home, without such an offensive and catastrophic noise assault?
Yet still we choose to celebrate Palm Sunday, despite the aggravations and torments.
So what does Palm Sunday mean to us? It means make your path straight, as prophesied by St John. It means make your life Holy, it means celebrate who you are, show yourself and what you stand for and be bold as Christ was. It means be humble and be true to your path, as He was.
So all these things we celebrate and all these things we strive for, within a context of suffering few know, few can imagine, few seek to understand and few bother to try and comprehend and then take in to account.
Despite the aggravations, the torments, the trials, the injustice and the ignorance and selfishness of others, we still cling to God and say ‘Help us make our paths straight and bring meaning out of our suffering.
Help us celebrate all that is good and of beauty, even in the hiddenness of our lives so that we can still ‘stand tall’ and be who we are, even if it is invisible, God sees and knows and loves us and celebrates with us, all that remains of goodness and hope in our own hearts.
And we pray for better days ahead, we pray for hopeful moments, we pray that God will heal and save us, we pray for wisdom, discernment, understanding, kindness in others, we pray for genuine concern to be awoken in those who are ignorant and hurtful to us, we pray for a banishment of all that assails us, we pray for hope to bless our lives, we ask that truth and beauty shine in us like a beacon, inspiring all, blessing all, lifting all, bringing healing and light to the world.
We pray that we can be all that God has made us to be and we celebrate that gift today as we remember Jesus riding on a donkey through the palm strewn streets ; the people shouting Hossanah!
Save us now.