Of course, there were palms. There had to be palms. So they were laid out ready to welcome the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
And yet, there is something about this Palm Sunday celebration that requires more pageantry. There is something about this parade that welcomes in God’s peace. We can’t just have palms. These are things we don’t touch the rest of the year. We don’t have anything to do with them. We never see them. Well, if you are in some lovely tropical locale, I envy you but they are foreign to me. They look nothing like the pine trees that surround my home. They don’t lend toward the same imagination. So, there had to be more to welcome this prophet into our midst from Galilee in Nazareth. When the city or the crowd asks, we better know why we’re welcoming this one into our lives.
We know why we have parades. They mark big events. They mark holidays that we understand. They point to something that happened in history that we must honor with bands and balloons. Why wouldn’t we do that now? Why wouldn’t we try to understand this story of our Prophet of Peace with the same gusto as a parade? Well, what if we tried?