Today’s sermon was delivered in a monologue format somewhat based on the script below which was provided courtesy of Rev Evelyn MacLachlan at King City United Church in King City, ON.[audio http://www.buzzsprout.com/33052/258442-the-spectator.mp3]
Excuse me. (pushing your way through) Excuse me. I can’t see, please let me through. Thank you. (looking up and down and around, even putting your hand out above your eyes to see further in the distance) Okay, so when’s the king coming? Have you seen him yet? Did I miss him? I had some extra chores to do and I knew I’d be running late. He hasn’t come by yet, has he? (wait for an answer). Oh, good. Wonder how long it will be before he gets here? Have you ever seen this Jesus?
I almost got to hear him tell some stories. They were really powerful. Other friends who were there told me about them. He told a story about a farmer who planted seed. I like that one because my father is a farmer and I understood what he was saying. Did you understand what he is saying? Well, let me tell you, you need to nurture what you plant, you have to water it, give it some fertilizer. And that’s just like our faith in Yahweh. If you only go to synagogue once in awhile, you just don’t get what the fuss is all about. I get what the fuss is all about. I do. Jesus is quite the teacher. He talked about not hiding your faith, not putting it under a bushel. It doesn’t matter if your faith isn’t like the Pharisees. Your faith can just be beginning, sort of like a mustard seed. I heard he talked about a mustard seed. Yeah he really did.
(excited) Is that him? (disappointed) Oh, no it’s just one of the soldiers. Wonder why they’re here? They’re really everywhere aren’t they? I don’t think they like Jesus … do you think they like him?
I heard he does some healing. Yeah, Jesus, the one we’re waiting for. At least I’m waiting for him. I’m waiting for him to help change my life. He has healed so many people. He healed a leper. You know a cousin of mine has leprosy and we aren’t allowed to see him at all. He’s hidden away somewhere. Wish he could see Jesus. This leper that was healed was so excited he just couldn’t stop telling his story. He told it over and over to anyone who would listen. I was one of those people who listened. It was amazing. Wonder if he knows my cousin. Wonder if that guy who was healed is here? I should find him. He’s probably here in this crowd. (look around) Isaac … hey Isaac are you here? I’m sure he is. He became a follower.
Wow, (wave branch in front of self like a fan) it’s getting hot huh? Everyone has palm branches. Wow. I love this festival. Getting to wave palm branches waiting for the Messiah. We do that every year and I always like it. (look at one of the imaginary parade mates) You know why we wave the branches? I know. I’ll tell you why. We wave them because this is a parade, a parade for our King, our Messiah, the one who is going to save us from these Romans. We’re waiting for a revolt! And the Romans even have extra guards in case us Jews get a bit too rowdy. Who knows, we might even cause a riot! (laugh to yourself) Okay, so these palm branches are what we wave as we go around the temple. I have a feeling that we’ll be waving our branches in earnest today. Jesus is just like a Messiah. He teaches. He listens. He challenges the authorities. He heals. He walks with us. It’s almost like he’s one of us.
Hey … here he is now! Wow. Look at everyone. They’re waving their branches. (wave and shout) Hey Jesus!! Jeeesuuus! Wow, they’re not just waving branches … look at that. Do you see that? They’re putting their cloaks on the ground! They only do that for the king. Wow! Jesus IS the king! He’s the Messiah. But why is he riding on a donkey? Kings are supposed to come to Jerusalem riding on a horse. A stallion. And that’s anything but a stallion. That’s a donkey. Wonder why that is. (Wave palm branches) Hey Jesus!! Hosanna! Hosanna!
I get it! I get it!! He’s on the donkey because he comes in peace. He does not want war. He wants us to accept each other. Wow. I have to accept the Romans?! Oh, I get it. I accept the Romans because God created them. I don’t have to accept their treatment of us. I need to do something to make change. I need to change myself. I’m created by God. And so is that Roman guard. But he just doesn’t know it. How can I let him know that he is one of God’s?
Wow. This Jesus is really going to change things. It’s not going to be pretty. I think it’s going to even be dangerous. Are you going to follow Jesus? You’ve been shouting out Hosanna … save us. Is that what you want? I wonder if that’s what I want!
I’m going to follow Jesus and see what happens on the way to the festival. Something tells me this one is going to be very different. (look at the Roman guards) Just look at the way the Roman guards are looking at him and even the religious leaders. I know they don’t really like Jesus either. He keeps telling them to live their faith, not just talk about it and follow the letter of the law. He says we should be following the heart of God. He follows the heart of God. He has helped so many people. So many lives have been changed.
Wow. He’s stopped and he’s looking this way. Who’s he looking at? (look around to see who Jesus is looking at and then realize, he’s looking at you.) Wow. He’s looking at me!! He’s looking AT ME! Me. Who am I? Why is he looking at me? He’s calling me to go with him. He wants me to go with him!?! And he’s smiling. What should I do? What should I do. (pause for 5 seconds and then run down the stairs and say this piece to the congregation)
I’m going to go with him. I’m joining this parade. I want to change. I want to follow the heart of God. What do you want to do? (pause for 5 seconds)
Hey Jesus … wait for me … wait for us! Hosanna!! (run out shouting Hosanna!)