Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings Fellow Traveller,
Today is Palm Sunday. A time to celebrate as we recall the well known story from our Christian tradition, of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey and the crowd celebrates. Yet, each year, after I read it I want to find something new within its familiar images.
This year was no different, and there it was staring me in the face. In Luke’s version of the story, we find people took off their cloaks or coats and threw them on the ground in an act of celebration and joy at Jesus entry into Jerusalem.
Reflecting on the idea of taking off one’s coat, I saw a very powerful imagery of openness and experiencing the moment. I readily accept that I could well be projecting my own thoughts and feelings into the story.
But, nevertheless, imagine for a moment, you are going out to dinner, it’s a very cold evening, you decide to wear your winter coat. Arriving at the restaurant, which has two Michelin stars, you are welcomed and invited to take off your coat which is carefully placed in the cloak room on a coat hanger, after which the maître d’ shows you to your table. Imagine having a meal in such a restaurant wearing your heavy winter coat, unthinkable.
For some members of the crowd that day as Jesus rides on the donkey, their heavy cloaks / coats inhibit their participation, they shed them and enjoy the celebration.
On our journey of life, we each have some things that inhibit or prevent us from fully participating in the adventure of life, perhaps a negative attitudes that we need to throw at the feet of Jesus, so we may celebrate and participate in the wonder and mystery of life. I leave you with a poem from German poet Rainer Maria Rilke:
This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks
And to die, and to die, which is the letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to everyday
is like the swan when he nervously lets himself
down into the water which receives him gaily
and which flows under and after him wave after wave
while the swan, unmoving and marvellously calm,
is pleased to be carried, each moment,
more fully grown, more like a king, farther and farther on…
Meanwhile Peace in the Dignity of Difference