Taking our place in the crowd


Sarah Thompson speaking at Bethel College during their 2015 Martin Luther King Day event

This Sunday there will be a new face in the Rainbow “crowd.” Sarah Thompson, Christian Peacemaker Team Executive Director, will be our guest preacher. Click here to read more info about Sarah:An excerpt from an article published in January by Bethel College

I look forward to what she has to share with us on this Palm Sunday, a day of thinking about crowds, Jesus, power, violence, and transformation.

The story of Jesus’ “triumphant” entry into Jerusalem on a donkey is a dramatic story found in all four gospels (Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19). The clash of expectations, people, and emotions makes for a rich story, and it has inspired countless hymns, poems, and reflections.

The one I’m about to share was written recently by Rainbow member Lonnie Buerge. I think it’s a provocative, thoughtful re-telling of this story. As you read this and as we prepare for worship on Sunday, consider these questions: Who are the characters in the crowd? Where might we find ourselves in this crowd? What are our hopes, expectations, and fears?

Can he be what we want him to be?

By Lonnie Buerge

And so it comes together

                in Jerusalem

the Holy City.

The crowds are assembling

                breathing excitement

an intoxicating blend of both

                hope and fear.

Everyone dressed in their very best.

                Children scrubbed clean and combed.

All watching, waiting, wanting

                an arrival, an entrance, a coming to be.

Oh Jesus, Jesus our hope.

The authorities are nervous

                How to keep control

                Maintain order at all cost

                Keep the lid on.

                Plans are ready

                in case.




Oh, Jesus, Jesus our threat.

The priests are waiting

                Calmly, carefully, no need to

                be nervous.

                No need to create

                any expectation.

                No need to stir the status-quo

                No change.

                Keep it orderly.

                According to tradition.

                According to the rules.

Oh Jesus, Jesus our challenge.

The disciples are with him

                Friends, band of brothers

                bound by so much to each one

                Love for J.C.

                Team of men,

                band of brothers.

Oh Jesus, Jesus our comrade.

Mary is there.

                Alone, quiet, scared.

                Heart beating with fear

                Expecting, denying, hoping

                Loving a son.

                Remembering the start

                Recalling the life

Oh Jesus, Jesus my son.

Mary Magdalene is there.

                Wondering how it might have been.

                How she could have loved him,

                how he could have loved her,

                how they would have been together

                how they might have lived.

Oh Jesus, Jesus my love

Judas is there

               On the team

                that he loves and who love him.

                Hoping for more, never quite enough.

                Wanting a glance

                Hoping for a nod

                That Jesus will be what he wants.

Oh Jesus, Jesus the promise.

Jesus, Jesus

                Who are you?

Jesus, Jesus

                What will you be?

Will you be

                What we expect?

Will you be

                What we want?

Jesus, Jesus

                Do not disappoint us.

                Do not disappoint us.

Come, come to Jerusalem

                The holy city of God.

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