I began this Palm Sunday morning like I have begun the past eight Palm Sunday mornings, by sweeping magnolia leaves from the front chapel steps, readying the pathway for our procession with palms. We had a heavy rain last night and the dark, slick leaves were hard to brush from the sidewalk into the shade of the twin magnolias that flank the chapel doors. As I swept leaves and picked up a few small branches that had fallen with the rain I thought about the branches cut by those who met Jesus upon his entry into Jerusalem, and those who spread their cloaks across the road, readying the pathway for a procession.

Our trees here in the southland are different from those in Jerusalem, magnolia and dogwood rather than olive and palm, but still, we ready the pathway. And our cry is the same: Hosanna to the Son of David!
No matter where we are from, no matter how we ready the pathway, no matter what type of branches we cut, sweep, or carry, we who greet the Lord Jesus as King are kin to those who ages ago turned their eyes to the city gate and saw the King of Glory enter, clad in humility, riding on a colt. Their cry still echoes on our lips, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, hosanna in the highest!”

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