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March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday

The good news for the Day

Think of yourself like Messiah Jesus: Though beginning with traits of a god, He did not regard divine likeness something to be embraced. No, he emptied himself, taking the traits of enslaved help (“doule”)—taking on the likeness of every other human—and being regarded in the scheme of things as human…. (Phil. 2, 5-7)

When the time had come, Jesus got ready to eat with the followers committed to Him. To them He said, “I have really wanted to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer; I am letting you know—I am not going to eat this same meal again until ‘The realm of what is right” reaches its consummation, (Luke 22, 14-16)

Palm Sunday embraces both the big parade and death on its way. You watch the waving palm branches, you hear “Hosannas” and you feel hope in the fun- sharing. Then you foresee the sad Last Supper, the breaking of bread, the sharing of wine that announces His broken Body, his shed blood—and the Next Day.

The time has come to consider life and death—of their many kinds.

You and I are made, Genesis says, in the “image and likeness” of God. Christian belief reminds us Jesus had the “morphe” of God—traits, interactions and form—like the “morphology” of a giraffe. Islam adds its view that humans are born into Islam, but corrupted. Yes, everybody comes trailing clouds of glory, as Wordsworth says. Many of us have radiant innocence as a child–and then spend the rest of life “dying” in a drifting pattern as those clouds dissipate.

Some of us, though, recapture that: “I am alive!”—the thrill of being Alive! Falling in love, a religious conversion, a moment looking at your child, or a death or near-death—you shift from what you were—now intense with awareness. This New Life is Fragile. Failures, cancer, death of parent, politics, and rejection take their toll—want to break you with grief. You want to quit. The parade, though, is transformed into something that survives death, survives the breaking of hearts, and rises from death, from grief and failure. Such Inner Aliveness Survives.

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