“Palm” Sunday

At Dwelling in the Word on Zoom this Palm Sunday morning, one person waved the flat of his hand and expressed the reality that it was the only palm he had to wave this year. Waving the palm of my hand became my expression of the day. The Stephen Ministers met on Zoom after the service and we too waved our palms. 

I missed the HOH congregation holding our palms in that quiet, dignified, understated way we have! I missed our children walking and waving them with gusto. While immensely grateful for our livestream, I am grieving the loss of our physical presence together in worship just now. I don’t miss waving (holding) a palm leaf as much as I miss putting my palm against yours in a handshake. 

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon so I took my sadness out for a walk. And I waved my palm at everyone I met. It started strictly as a greeting but soon I realized that it is also the gesture of benediction. I have waved a palm leaf once a year for decades; today for the first time, I wondered if this is what Jesus’ felt. The great crowds bought in to Jesus as new leader; I always think the disciples secretly hoped that Jesus’ predictions of his own death were turned around on that day. So it must have been lonely for Jesus. 

I am now grateful I had only the flat of my hand to wave. Thank you to the Dwelling in the Word participants and to the Stephen Ministers for your lessons and your company. In the days ahead, I encourage us all to keep waving our palms; it can be lonely but it is also benediction – blessing. Be intent on this. We all need it.  

You can watch a livestream of our Palm Sunday worship here.