Edwards Church, along with many other Christians just celebrated Palm Sunday. There were two processions entering Jerusalem that day. One from the east as Jesus rode a donkey (a symbol of industry, peace, and occasionally wealth) into the city flanked by followers and sympathizers. The other from the west as Pontius Pilate entered flanked by a cavalry of imperial soldiers and riding horse (a symbol of wealth, war, and power) drawn chariots. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God while Pilate proclaimed the kingdom of the Roman Empire. Those entering from the east were going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Passover. Those entering from the west were going to reinforce the Roman garrison that overlooked the Jewish temple and its courts, as they often did during the occasion of a Jewish festival. We experience the confrontation of the two kingdoms as the events of Holy Week continue to unfold with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Unlike the birth of Jesus, which scholars agree did not occur in December, his arrest, torture and execution, which we remember during Holy Week, and his resurrection, which we celebrate on Easter, most definitely happened in the spring. Scripture refers to Jesus and his disciples coming to Jerusalem for the Passover, which is always in the spring, and Passover and Holy Week often overlap as they do this year.
Did you miss Part 1? Read it here! Our experience of Spirituals today is as fully accompanied songs or choral arrangements. A large part of their effectiveness comes from the accompaniments created by the original arrangers, working a generation or two after the end of slavery. Two of the most prominent arrangers were William […]