If you have ever lived in a city when the President of the United States comes for a visit, you know you can’t miss it. It is big, there are all sorts of extra peripheral things going on. Anyone who is, or seeks to be any one, wrangles for an invitation. It is glorious, everything is cleaned and polished; we want to make a good impression.
It’s also a mess. Every predictable pattern is disrupted. I know folks who say best part of a presidential visit, is when the President leaves and life gets back to normal.
So, I wonder how we would receive a president, who flew in coach, rode public transportation around town, stayed in a room with twin queen beds, and went out for meals without a reservation, standing in the foyer with the rest of us. I wonder if we would even notice.
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is an event worthy of scene 1. Much of it meaning comes from the fact that is more like scene 2, with a generous dose of parity thrown in.
And people do notice. The poor, oppressed, who suffer from injustice economic and judicial systems celebrate. Those in power are threatened and begin in earnest planning their deadly response.
What would a president who make a humble entry, that truthfully reflects presidential humility, have to do, to evoke both of the reactions we witness I Jerusalem this coming Sunday. I wonder who has the courage.