Patrick (Mahomes) and the Parade of Palms

Kansas City has become familiar with gigantic parades (finally). The 2015 Royals parade and the 2020 Chiefs parade (can you believe that was only 8 weeks ago) were marked with fanfare and hype and celebration. I love a good parade, even the dinky small-town kind with kids singing and dancing and smiles on every face.

Each Palm Sunday we celebrate a parade, of sorts, that happened 2000 years ago at the entrance to the city of Jerusalem. It probably felt more like our small-town parades (no one knows for sure how many is meant by “multitudes” in this passage).  However, there are two key differences between what happened that day and what we know of as modern parades.

First, the focal point of the parade was singular. Unlike our parades with a wide variety of floats and performances, everyone’s attention was focused on one person. Even though you could make the case that Patrick Mahomes was the star of the Chiefs parade, he wasn’t the only draw. Jesus’ parade had only one attraction – a poor man riding a donkey. All eyes were on him; he was the only reason that the crowds had gathered that day. He wasn’t just the center of his parade … he WAS the parade.

Second, Jesus’ parade wasn’t a celebration of what had already happened. Our sports parades are about a victory already won; our small-town parades mark the anniversary of the town’s establishment. The parade that day in Jerusalem was in anticipation for what would happen. It would be like having the Chiefs parade before our last season rather than at the end of it (“Save us, Mahomes!”). The crowds were gathered around Jesus crying out for him to do something: “Save us! (Hosanna!)”

He would save them, but not in the way that they would have guessed.

Tune in Sunday (online of course) to celebrate Palm Sunday together as a church. Even though we are separated by distance, we can still look to Jesus with the same anticipation that the crowds had all those years ago.

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