Hosanna in the Highest!
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!
Today is Palm Sunday in our Liturgical calendar, the day we Praise the Lord as He enters Jerusalem, palm branches laid before him, honoring Jesus as our king. As this week progresses all gets worse until Friday when Jesus is crucified and laid in the tomb. I do have another memory associated with Palm Sunday that will help form today’s reflection.
Note: I just looked up the etymology of Hosanna: The word hosanna (Latin osanna, Greek ὡσαννά, hōsanná) is from Hebrew הושיעה־נא, הושיעה נא hôšîʿâ-nā and related to Aramaic ܐܘܿܫܲܥܢܵܐ (ʾōshaʿnā) meaning ‘save, rescue, savior’. In the Hebrew Bible it is used only in verses such as “help” or “save, I pray” (Psalms 118:25)
WOW, God is saying here, let me show you a new way.
Now this paragraph makes precious little sense. WE praise Jesus in such a beautiful way, honoring Him as our King and as our God, the one True God who loves us deeply and passionately. Over and over and over and over again from the beginning God want to be in relationship with us. When that relationship is broken, for any reason, God always offers an opportunity for restoration and growth.
WE join in today declaring Jesus as God asking him to save us. WE lay palm branches before Him delcaring him our King. Pardon me while I have a Whoa! moment. Seriously friends. This action from the people is so incredible, this isn’t simply about praising God, it is not so much a declaration of unworthiness as it is of needyness, it is about being saved, being redeemed, restoring that relationship between God and humanity. During this great Holy Week not only do we re-present this through our liturgy, we actively participate with our own actions and words. Friday is always the hardest as I, along with the crowd say “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” acknowledging my own participation in this heinous action. What other heinous actions do I join the crowd in?
Fourteen years ago Palm Sunday I woke up early, had coffee, got showered and dressed and headed to my sewing room to quilt. My sister or stepmom called and within half an hour, with the help of my husband, I was on my way to Maine, hoping that I’d make it before my dad passed away. As I got to about that half-way point I started crying, then weeping, then full on sobbing praying for Dad and encouraging my Dad, if it was his time, to just go. It was okay with me, as much as I wanted to be with him, it was okay, he didn’t have to wait. As I exited from one road and got onto the next I knew deep within my being that Dad died. There was a period of time in our lives when I didn’t really speak to my dad due to family hurt. In my late teens Dad started writing to me and eventually we worked on our relationship. Dad and I were better at writing letters as it gave us time to think, and I suspect we both have a bit of dramatic internal imagination that adds just the right emphasis at just the right time. It was something of a long and painful process, however having a relationship was way more important than whatever we said. Even though I was not physically with him when he died that Palm Sunday I was with him through prayer.
It’s entirely possible on this partiuclar Sunday morning I was working on finishing piecing a quilt that all these years later still makes my heart go pitter pat as I look at how I used thread color to try and knock back a cream color block in a New York Beauty. This is part of the path of quiltmaking that is still surprising to me how here I am thinking I’m doing one thing ie learning paper piecing when it’s actually multiple things paper piecing, color, free motion quilting, how the color of the thread affects the color of the fabric and how color plays with us. While color is a hard concept, understanding how we use it as quilters has more to do with value (light v dark) than it does with the actual hue (color). Knowing that gives us the opportunity to explore in great depth.
I love how color plays over the surface of a background. How it changes depending on the stitch density and thread thickness. It is almost time to create, to enjoy the freedom of opening a drawer, picking a color, and filling in some space defined by imagination. In one sense when I am at the machine creating one of these quilts I am once again a little kid drawing landscapes, imagining myself in a different place, yearning for an adventure.
Just like this Holy Week is something of an adventure.
Just like faith is something of an adventure.
My mind is swirling with all the wrong words, inadequately expressing the connection between faith and quilting this week. Perhaps its a bit like death, it’s a mystery, or the quilt designs rattling around my head demanding to be stitched out, one thread at a time, one story, one stitch at a time.
As we walk with Jesus this week from his Triumphal Entry into Jersusalem, the crowds seeking salvation Hosanna! I am reminded that there are two more parts to this week, Crucify Him and He is Risen.