The original March on Washington is known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. As a 9-year old, I didn’t realize the full implication of this March to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. I must admit I don’t even remember the “I have a dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King because my attention was focused elsewhere by the time he spoke late in the afternoon. I do remember Mahalia Jackson’s rousing rendition of “How I Got Over.” To me the whole event was just a great big parade and “everybody loves a parade, until …”. For me, the ‘until’ was when I came to realize it was seeking relief against the injustices that had caused the March.
Saturday, March 24, the March for Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC and 500 other cities around the country to demand that kid’s lives and safety become a priority and serious efforts are taken to end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools. I wonder how many will not recognize the gravity of the event and see it as just a big parade; and, “everybody loves a parade, until …” the horror of gun violence strikes, victimizing them and theirs.
Then on Palm Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. In an act of political resistance against the Roman Empire and their proxies in the religious establishment, huge crowds of people sang and waved palm branches to welcome Jesus into the city. Jesus went directly to the temple, the center of a corrupt system, threw out the moneychangers and reclaimed the space for the people. And “everybody loved the parade, until …” during this last week of His life, Jesus proclaimed a vision of a new society where there are no outcasts and everyone has enough.
Join us this Palm/Passion Sunday. We will celebrate with the waving of palm branches, special music and a sermon about 2 parades called “Everybody Loves A Parade, Until …” based on Psalm 118:1, 22-29 and John 12:12-16