Today is Palm Sunday, and while I do not usually blog on Sundays, I could not get to write on Saturday. I’m sure that, with all the rain and thunderstorms that hit the area yesterday, everyone who participated in a church procession today was grateful that it was at least dry. In fact, for us, it was sunny but breezy. But, Spring has been more like Fall on so many days that the shift in seasons is really uneven.
Lent is coming to its end, and whatever has been taken on for the season can come to an end, or continued. That’s a personal choice and people often use Lent as a transitional period in their lives.
What was spurring me to write yesterday evening was a series of conversation points. The first was some silly word confusion. One of the dinner group from church was talking about all the Easter roles she had, and where they would be. I heard ‘rolls’, initially, and said, “Do you mean hot cross buns?” When that got no reaction, I wondered whether the conversation was about Easter eggs rolls, such as at the White House. My mind was on a different path. Then, the two sets of thoughts converged: “No. I meant things that I have to do during Easter, not what I get to eat on Good Friday”. But, my comment had registered. While hot cross buns are part of a well-established British tradition, I have rarely come across them in the US, though THE tea lady was telling me that they would be preparing some and I could look forward to her baking.
The second conversation point related to bees. Some of the dinner group were concerned that their continued absence in this area would mean problems for fruit production. How would orchards be pollinated? Perhaps, we could take the action used apparently in a region in Japan of pollinating the blossoms by hand–using feathers, I understand. I did not see that as a likely outcome. Funny then, that this morning at church, I was trying to enjoy the scent of some blossoming shrubs. I got too close and ended with pollen on my nose. When someone asked if I was going to try to pollinate all of the shrubs, I had to smile. I’m not sure that humans are that ready to take on the roles that nature has assigned to keep the world in alignment, but maybe we need to evolve to take on new roles to keep the world rolling along.
I know that many looked forward to, and enjoyed, being able to sing “Hosanna” today, and with a good accompaniment of brass blowers to guide the process, we sang heartily and rolled along merrily. We carried and waved our palms. The police officer, parked in his car, could not leave to join us, but he gladly took and waved a palm from his stationary position.
When I listened this morning to the Gospel passage about the betrayal of Jesus and his crucifixion, it focused my mind again on roles. Some are assigned. Some we take on. Some are imposed. Some seem to just happen. However it occurs, we play our parts. Those, scattered in the congregation, who had roles assigned, needed to perform them correctly for the passage to work as it should. In the story, the actions of Barabbas (betrayal) and Peter (denial) are telling, and come the right time, they acted as their roles determined.
My first grader and my wife are now trying to make it seem like Spring: having spent so many weekend days looking at a gloomy outdoors, to see sunshine is exhilarating. They are batting a tennis ball in the yard. If one does not return the ball, there is no ‘game’. If one hits too hard, it’s difficult for the other to participate. If one does not want to play for more than a few minutes, the game will end quickly. We each play our roles with different degrees of intensity and commitment. That’s why sometimes things roll along well and other times do not roll very much at all.