The Eighth Day
Posted March 25, 2015
The Reluctant Cross-Bearer
Jesus has fallen down, and the drama of Good Friday is at a standstill. The Roman soldiers whose job it is to get him executed fear they're falling behind schedule. Worse, they fear the "King of the Jews" might die on the road, ruining the spectacle they've planned up ahead. They've tried mocking and hitting him. But it's clear that Jesus is too weak to take another step on his own.
Enter Simon. According to the Gospels, he was a pilgrim from Africa, newly arrived in Jerusalem. We have no reason to believe he knew anything about Jesus. He was just a foreigner in a strange city, an unlucky guy who ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Posted March 23, 2015
The Clown King
By Debie Thomas
I've never heard a sermon about Jesus' sense of humor. If I were to construct a personality profile, based on everything the Church has taught me about Jesus, I'd use words like zealous, compassionate, somber, and gentle. Given the fact that crowds flocked to him so easily, I'd probably throw in a word like "charismatic." But comedic? Ironic? Sarcastic? No. The Jesus I was raised on was far too serious a man to bother with any incarnation of humor.
This week, we prepare for Palm Sunday — the last Sunday of Lent, and our gateway into the trials and triumphs of Holy Week. If your religious history looks anything like mine, you know the routine. You know how to make neat little crosses out of palm branches. You know how to walk in an orderly procession, the lofty verses of "All Glory, Laud, and Honor," falling from your lips. You know how to cry, "Hosanna!" to your humble but triumphant king.