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Palm Sunday – Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem

Dear Friends

This week I found myself in one of the more upmarket supermarkets looking to buy some hot-cross buns (incidentally, if we apply the WWJD principle, it isn’t where I’d imagine Jesus would shop). Well, as is now becoming something of national concern, I simply could not find a proper, ‘traditional’ hot cross bun. In the end I went with buns that claimed to be made with clementines… I ask you!

In many things I am (ask Jane) deeply traditional and conservative. Progressive change often leaves me uncomfortable and contrary. Life though – and especially the life of faith, has its way of presenting us all with realities and truths that disrupt our ordered sense of how things should be. Then we face the dilemma of holding on to the known order or accepting that things are going to change. That change may feel very disorientating as we stumble our way to a re-ordered reality – the hard yards of growth…

Last Sunday, Revd. Jim preached on what the cross means for us. As we approach Holy Week, dare we open ourselves to the re-orientation that the cross of Christ brings?  This Lent I have been addressing personally and ministerially ‘the integrity of the cross’. In my reading a came across a contemporary Baptist pastor who argued that understanding the ‘cross’ as a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by his Son, made no sense in the light of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies and to refuse to repay evil with evil.

If that isn’t what the cross is, where does that leave us – especially when we regularly pray, preach and praise the cross as a means of satisfying God’s anger against his fallen children?

Reflecting on our celebration of Christ’s ‘triumphal’ entry into Jerusalem this Palm Sunday, I found theological integrity through the writing of another contemporary and generously orthodox Christian evangelist, Brian McLaren:

The cross calls humanity to stop trying to make God’s kingdom happen through coercion and force, which are always self-defeating in the end, and instead, to welcome it through self-sacrifice and vulnerability.

The clementine hot cross buns – with salty butter – were actually delicious and demonstrated just what can happen when you develop on the traditional ones…

May Christ, true and humble King, continue to give us grace to grow…


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