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Which Way of Peace? (29)
Christopher B. Harbin
Peace is something we do not really understand. It is something we rarely, if ever have experienced. When we have, it has generally been only a partial experience of peace. We understand the cessation of hostilities. We recognize a lack of warring, but often mistake the conflict hiding under the surface for its non-existence. Instead of peace, we focus on something much less. We choose a shadow in place of the real thing.
Real peace is so much more than covering over hostility while hanging onto self-promotion. It requires more than a genteel facade spread over inequity and a lack of care for one another. Unfortunately, we become so accustomed to fake peace we cannot comprehend what real peace is like.
Jesus entered Jerusalem with an offer of peace. We celebrate that entrance with palms and songs and marching all around in memory of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem. We reenact the roar of the crowds who spread clothing and blankets to line his way into Jerusalem on that day so many years ago. They sang and shouted, ''Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'' They welcomed the one they considered the son of David, the Messiah promised of old.
It is a rather strange celebration, no matter how we slice and dice it. The people marching along with Jesus were celebrating one thing, with Jesus at its center. Jesus seems to have been celebrating something else, entirely. For Jesus, it was about the inauguration of God's reign of peace. For the crowds, it was about Messiah coming to redeem them from the yoke of Rome's dominion.
In triumph, Jesus entered Jerusalem. He came as a king, and still today we celebrate his coming, along with the crowds of so long ago. They turned out that day to cheer and rejoice, yet most if not all of them failed to grasp what his entry into Jerusalem really meant. We don't really get it, either.
They applauded him as a king. ...
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