As we get closer to Easter, I always get so excited for Palm Sunday. One it’s a Sunday where my hair changes again (Palm Sunday I go pink for the remainder of Holy Week and Easter!), but it’s also a Sunday that I remember from when I was a kid.
And there are not a lot of Sunday church services that I remember from my childhood. Sure I have vague memories of Sunday school and occasionally sitting inside the sanctuary, but there are very few actual services I remember – but oh man do I remember the Palm Sunday services.
Mainly of course, because of the palm leaves. Because they are not only something new and different and exciting, but they are excellent for the imagination of a small person. My palm leaf was a sword (deftly made to swing at my sisters). My palm leaf was a wand (creating magic around me). My palm leaf was a pen (writing my name in the air). My palm leaf was all of these things.
And then we had to put it on the ground.
At my home congregation, for that Palm Sunday (I don’t know if they still do this), we all stood outside and inside leading up to the sanctuary doors. We waved our palms at each other (and maybe there was someone playing Jesus? I don’t remember), and eventually we were told to put our leaves on the ground, to make a path. And then we went inside.
I remember looking back at my palm leaf and thinking – No! My sword! My wand! My pen! as I watched those around me walk over the path of palms.
I’m not entirely sure what lesson this Sunday taught me – maybe not to get too attached to things – but either way, it has cemented Palm Sunday in my memory, and now that I know more about the day, I can enjoy a moment of nostalgia as I tap my husband with my palm-sword, and I can celebrate with joy and thanksgiving for Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. Hosanna in the highest!