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Passion Sunday B 15

Posted on 31 Mar 2015, Preacher: Kevin Maly

Jesus on the CrossIn the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Ana adonai hoshiah-na ana v’hoshiah-na, the high priests of the Temple sing during the week-long feast of Pesach, Passover, once a day for six days and seven times the seventh day, waving their lulab, their bundles of branches of willow, of myrtle, and palm. Oh Lord, save us, save us Oh Lord, they sing to the Tabernacle, and the Tabernacle said to be the throne of God upon which God does perch, a box full of bibles, flanked by two angel statues, kneeled and bowing to that mercy seat, and all of it made of gold of course, unalloyed, true gold from true gold, be solid not plate. And the purple curtain of the Temple shielding the lesser beings from this sight so holy that only the most pure and male may behold God mounted there invisible – and not just die at the sight of it all.

At the same time outside the city walls . . . that tacky little scene on the road into the city of angels. Jesus riding a donkey – a donkey — what women, the feeble, and the infirm ride. And this pathetic parade surrounded – by the riff-raff, the no count, unclean women, and noisy children who won’t sit quiet in church, all singing to this ridiculous figure, Ana hoshiah-na in the highest, Oh Lord in the highest save us – yes do save us – from all of those people and this ridiculous display of God-only-knows-what.

This, surely an early All Fools’ Day mockery of the God of Power and Might and his seat of gold in the most Holy Temple. How could this charade be anything but? A God on a jackass. Indeed. No – this one, who will be unable to muster an army like any decent Messiah should do, chanted to by the diseased, the deluded, and those – not being men of sound body and mind – not fit to pray. Thank God I’m a male that I might. (Dear God, we thank you for the survival of the fittest, the hidden hand of the free market, mega-churches, most-highly-paid quarterbacks, and all that jazz. Amen.)

You do know, right, that it’s only the dead who need this resurrection business? That only the dead can be raised. Only the truly dead need resurrection. We need resurrection.

Then the obscene scene of Friday. Ha-ha! No hoshiah-na, no Ana adonai, Lord save us now – only, Hah! You who would be God, you can’t even save yourself. Not even able to carry your own cross. And at the end attended by yet more women, wailing this time – don’t they know to be silent in the assembly? – and a pagan soldier of the enemy, obviously deluded, proclaiming Jesus some Son of God. Oh say, cred-head now wounded, where are your disciples now? They’ve denied you, deserted you, and left you alone. If you were God you should have smote them dead long ago. And as for that temple curtain . . . . so what if it was torn in two from top to bottom? We can still keep God out of sight. Give us some gold paint and some roses. The damage can be repaired. Though, logically speaking, not so, Jesus, for you and for yours. Let ‘em not eat bread, and keep ‘em away from the wine; once they start with the bread bread and the wine, they’ll never stop.

And as for every knee bending or head bowing at the name of Jesus . . . . we do not do things like that around here . . . . our salutes and our allegiances are pledged to other things, star-spangled and yet waving, so get rid of that body, those rocks, and those ghastly thorns. No . . . there is nothing in this week’s traipsing around that will last. This parade, but a passing fancy. Only seven more days and April shall have had its fool, the old order shall stand, and the doddering God tucked away in some tabernacle, hidden behind the ever-rearrange-able curtain of our hands – our (Lutheran) hands so much better able than the hands of others, don’t you know. And the people’s songs of Ana adonai Hoshiah-na, Oh Lord save us (indeed!) will, thankfully, be met with deaf ears, the body will stay pretty in a stained-glass-windowed tomb, the stone more or less solid and in place, and there shall be sales, sales, sales, Thursday through Sunday, and on the third day crowded restaurants (better make reservations early), our recovering economy again offering in mercy, healing, strength, and pardon. Peoples and nations, take it, take it freely (freely, not really, only kidding). Amen, we are the champions, and this nation, the garden of the gods of the fittest who survive. You do know, right, that it’s only the dead who need this resurrection business? That only the dead can be raised. Only the truly dead need resurrection. We need resurrection. Hail Lord Jesus! We who are about to die, on bended knee, do salute you, for you have truly promised: dying, we shall be with you – even this day – in Paradise. Ana adonai hoshiah-na ana v’hoshiah-na. Oh Lord in the highest save us; save us, O Lord in the highest.