It’s Palm Sunday today and I made the deliberate choice not to go to church.
On the first Palm Sunday Jesus was publicly recognised for the king he is. A week later he was dead. Jesus was quite particular in making it clear to his disciples that his kingdom was unlike anything that earthly power can generate. On the final day of his life he spoke truth to power as he stood calmly before his accusers and would not bow to their threats or intimidation.
On this Palm Sunday I am challenged by Jesus’ life. What could I do that would best declare that the king has come, that his kingdom does not look like the kingdoms and power structures of our nations and society? I went to my first ever rally – the Palm Sunday Rally in Hyde Park, this year protesting against the Australian government’s war on refugees. We would instead declare peace on refugees.
Jesus spoke so much about the Kingdom of God. It is a topsy- turvey kingdom in which the first are last and the last are first, in which true leadership is displayed by being a servant.
So I didn’t wave palm leaves, I didn’t preach a sermon, I didn’t sing songs about King Jesus. But for me I did something, I took some action. I declared Jesus’ kingship by marching in the rain, chanting a slogan, trying to say that the king I serve actually cares about refugees, about all the marginalised and demonised people of the world.
There were thousands of people marching in the rain today for lots of different reasons. But I’ve come to the conclusion, and it really isn’t all that smart of me to have got this far, that Jesus’ kingdom is far bigger than any church and its services. I think we limit the kingdom when we say that it looks like people gathered in a church on a Sunday.
I think the kingdom of God was on display today in the rain in Sydney (and around the nation in many other cities and towns). Not everyone who went would have seen it that way, but that’s the amazing thing about Jesus’ kingdom, it is hidden in plain sight. Jesus so often said, “He who has ears to hear let him hear.” I think that those who have eyes need to see as well.
So, I didn’t go to church today. But I do think I celebrated and declared that the kingdom Jesus spoke about is real, and it was on display today in the rain