Who Are We Standing With?

 Benjamin’s Cremer’s poems says it well:     We want the war horse. Jesus rides a donkey. We want the bird of prey. The Holy Spirit descends as a dove. We want the militia. Jesus calls fishermen, tax collectors, women, and children. We want the courtroom. Jesus sets a table. We want the gavel. Jesus washes feet. We want to take up swords. Jesus takes up a cross. We want the empire. Jesus brings the Kingdom of God. We want the nation. Jesus calls the church. We want the roaring lion. God comes as a slaughtered lamb. We keep trying to arm God. God keeps trying to disarm us.      I wonder if you’ve ever had that awful and frustrating feeling of being misunderstood, like you are speaking a different language .   You say one thing, but people perceive something entirely different.  That’s how I imagine Jesus felt as he rode into Jerusalem on the back of that donkey with the little foal following so closely to its mom.    Jesus says one thing: I come in humility on the back of this creature that has carried me all the way to Bethlehem when I was in utero.      We say another:  Hosanna!  Hosanna!  Signs of victory—win big Jesus!  Win big.    Who is this guy?    Meanwhile on the other end of town, Herod arrives riding in on his Humvee vehicle of war: a Stallion.   Now there’s a parade—I imagine that Herod’s show of power and his processional was far more spectacular than Jesus’s chaotic ride on the back of a donkey with a foal nursing on its mother.    What a sign of deep vulnerability. Who wants that?   Why would anyone follow such a pathetic savior?  He’s gonna die!    If you could describe Palm Sunday in one word, what word would you use?  Capricious?  Chaotic?  Traumatic?   I am always grateful that this liturgy is unlike all the rest of the year-  two Gospel readings, two psalms, procession, no acclamation of the Gospel reading-- all those moments of confusion and difference are disorienting.     For anyone that is ever experienced trauma will tell you, trauma is disorienting.  And today represents deep trauma.           I wonder: which parade would we attend?  Which savior do we follow?   It’s so easy to say Jesus.  But then we ignore all those that he wants us to tend.    Imagine the crowd that would stand with Jesus today right now here in the United States.  Imagine if you will just 400 or so people gathered, vulnerable and watching.  Waiting.   400 people.   48 of those gathered live in poverty 36 don’t have health insurance 85 are illiterate 120 of those women in the crowd of 400 are sexual assault survivors 90 have untreated mental health issues And every day, 1 of those 400 people is shot.  Every single blessed day.     And we worry about Trans people and drag queens ruining our perfect society.  Which savior are we following?    Jesus is riding into town and all the wounded ones are waiting and hoping.    Who are we standing with?