An Odd Palm and an Odd Parable for Palm Sunday

This morning, we heard the familiar Palm Sunday passage, and the children paraded around the church sanctuary waving their palm fronds.
The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26594O" data-link="(O)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:“Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

John 12:12-15

I’ll get back to that in a little bit, but first, a little digression:

I couldn’t help but think of the odd palm tree I photographed on Friday in park a few miles from here. It is odd because it is growing within the split trunk of another tree. See?

Not only that, I think that the palm’s entire root system is suspended within the other tree, not going all the way to the ground.


Can you see the light underneath the root clump?


Here is the normal looking solid trunk base of the host tree.

Another hollowed tree nearby reminds me of both (1) the skull shaped rock (Golgotha) where Jesus is thought to have been crucified and (2) a dark tomb carved into rock, as during Bible times.

Is this Golgotha?
“When they came to
the place called the Skull,
they crucified him there,
along with the criminals—
one on his right,
the other on his left.”
Luke 23:33
Image result for biblical tomb cave
A cave tomb from Bible times

On a brighter note, representing the Resurrection for my arboreal parable, is a lovely spring-blooming tabebuia tree growing just across the railroad tracks. (See my post Tabebuia, The Brilliant Yellow Flowering Tree of Spring.)

 

… and an overlapping loquat tree representing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, who came after Jesus ascended to heaven.

But the fruit<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29185C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> of the Spirit is
love,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29185D" data-link="(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
 joy, peace,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29185E" data-link="(E)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
 patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
gentleness and self-control.”
Galatians 5:22-23a

Yes, I am quite aware of how odd this blog post is, how odd the palm tree wedged into the other tree. But everything about Holy Week itself is odd.

Christ of St. John of the Cross

by Salvatore Dali, 1951


The King of the Universe came to Jerusalem, not in conquest, but in compassion. He rode on a humble donkey rather than a war horse. He is the King of Peace, gentle (except to the money changers, whose tables he overturned in the temple courts), servant-hearted (washing the smelly feet of his disciples), willing to sacrifice himself to save sinners, even begging his Father to forgive those who were crucifying him. 

Throne Room of Grace
by Virginia Quarrier,
1984

Then there is the matter of the torn temple veil, the earthquake, and the resurrection of many holy saints at the hour of his death

And his own resurrection on the third day? Incredible, yet true!

What is at all normal about any of that? Yet that is the way he works.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27

This brings great hope to me. I often feel like the odd woman out. I don’t fit so many religious paradigms, yet God still uses me.

That’s enough from me for now. Excuse me while I go think up some other odd thoughts. I’ll be back.

You are welcome to read my Holy Week series on my main blog, or visit my Holy Week and Easter link page.


Virginia Knowles
www.WatchTheShepherd.blogspot.com

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About virginiaknowles

I am a mother and grandmother of a huge family, and I still home school my youngest daughter. I write to stay sane. My WordPress blog is a combination of my Blogspot blogs, and may not be continually updated.
This entry was posted in Bible~Theology, Message of Salvation, Nature Photography, Peacemaking~Forgiveness. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An Odd Palm and an Odd Parable for Palm Sunday

  1. I also love that Scripture about God using the “foolish” & “weak” things for His glory. I often feel odd, as opposed to impressive. I love how Jesus came as a lowly, unimpressive man! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

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