Bringing the Text to Life

The Seduction of the Palms Luke 19:28-40

In the euphoria and exuberance of this morning''s celebration, the church must not be seduced into losing sight of its central mission and message: obedient service.

In the previous centuries, when paper was an expensive commodity and letterwriting the only way to keep in touch, writers found an interesting way to economize. One piece of paper could be made to hold twice as much information by practicing the art of palimpsest. After filling the page the paper was simply rotated 45 degrees and then another entire page of writing was placed on top of the existing lines. These letters could compress the maximum amount of news onto a minimum amount of paper. There was only one drawback. It made for difficult reading. Like singing a round, it took intense concentration to keep focused on just one layer of the message at a time.

The story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem is like one of those many layered palimpsests. While Luke is busy telling this story, we can see layers of tradition and stratas of implications running under and through it. Every scene in the story draws its power from an earlier age, a previous incarnation. The continual flashbacks to ...

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