This Sunday is all about the parade, but not the kind of parade that we think of with Macy’s on Thanksgiving Day, or that grand parade that takes place in Pasadena before the Rose Bowl. This parade was much smaller, somewhat shorter, and didn’t come with balloons or floats. And yet this parade is packed with meaning. To understand it we have to understand that it involved things like kings, colts, crowds and cloaks. It involved palm branches cut from nearby trees. It involved a simple word we often confuse with this celebration.
Hosanna doesn’t mean hallelujah. Hosanna literally means, “Save us!” This parade also brought deep seeded anger by some who were watching; the Temple authorities who stood atop the Temple Wall or on the Teaching Steps. Yet there is one more word involved in this parade; it is an unusual word, an almost undefinable word. The word is “kenosis.” Kenosis is one of those strange words that means two things at the same time. It means being emptied, or self-emptying and at the same time means fullness. It’s what was taking place in Jesus as he rode that donkey down the hill and across the valley. It’s what consumed him as he marched up those same teaching steps where years earlier he was interpreting scripture as a child. Kenosis.
We’ll explore it more fully as we lift high our palms, sing of the Hosannas, and remember the parade that was that Palm Sunday so many years ago. To prepare please read Luke 19:28 – 48.