How I heard Palm Sunday:
When the hour came, Jesus took his place at table with the apostles.
Mama, I need Polar Bear. Read Polar Bear. Read. Please.
I tell you, Peter. Before the cock crows this day, you will deny three times that you know me.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear? I hear a lion roaring in my ear.
Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still not my will but yours be done.
Big Trucks and Diggers! I need Big Trucks and Diggers!
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.”
The wheel loader scoops and lifts and loads―oops, no, don’t pull the pages too hard or the dump truck part will break.
But they continued their shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Can you use your quiet voice in church? Shhh…no. Quiet. We use quiet voices while we’re listening.
Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.
Mama, do they have donuts today? Should we go check to see if there are donuts?
Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.
Shhh. Use your QUIET VOICE IN CHURCH. If you cannot use your quiet voice, you are going to have to leave aga―ok, that’s it. You’re leaving. Here, take him.
And when he had said this, he breathed his last.
Mama, home. Let’s go home. I’m hungry. I’m tired. Home.
. . .
A mother’s distraction? Maybe.
But aren’t all our hearings of the Gospel interrupted?
We pick up the book after making the coffee and before loading the dishwasher. We squeeze in church between breakfast and a birthday party. We listen to a sermon while plotting our to-do list and planning our errands.
We are always humans trying to hear the divine, listening with half an ear amidst all the chatter and clutter. We are never gods ourselves, with undisturbed attention, uninterrupted time, undistracted minds. We are creatures of distraction, people of interruption.
But might this be precisely the point?
Incarnation was interruption: God breaking into our world, becoming human. Resurrection was a wrench-in-the-works of reality, too: death becoming life, transformed and brand-new.
The Gospel was always meant to interrupt us. To interrupt injustice with truth. To interrupt guilt with forgiveness. To interrupt violence with peace. To interrupt ambition with humility. To interrupt selfishness with love.
No wonder it still interrupts today. Even this holiest of weeks is still full of work deadlines and school drop-offs and vacuuming and vet visits.
And the little ones can’t sit silent for the sacred mystery of holy days. They still fidget and squirm, whine and yawn. (So do adults sometimes, if we’re honest.)
Proof of all the human he came to save.