Anna's Hosannas!
Free Worship Resources for Use with the Lectionary
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Two Leaders

This would be a great way to involve youth, and could immediately follow 
a traditional processional of the palms.

Speaker 1: Two leaders enter into Jerusalem.

Speaker 2: Two leaders come to the great city.

Speaker 1: One leader travels in a grand entourage, a military caravan. Surrounded by weapons, ornamented by gold, his purpose is to inspire awe and fear in the crowds. He is Pilate, the governor in Jerusalem, making his appearance for the Passover feast.

Speaker 2: One leader travels on a donkey, with his fishermen disciples trailing behind. Surrounded by people calling to him for help, his purpose is to show the crowds God's love and compassion. He is Jesus, the rogue rabbi, coming to celebrate the Passover feast.

Speaker 1: As the military caravan passes through the gate, people draw back in fear. Mothers grab their children and pull them out of the road lest they be trampled beneath careless feet. The people duck their heads, fearful of making eye contact, not wanting to be noticed by this man of war.

Speaker 2: As the donkey passes through the gate, people rush forward to get near him. Mothers grab their children to hold them up in hopes of receiving a blessing. The people call out, "Hosanna" and throw their cloaks and palm branches in the street, hoping to be seen by this man of peace.

Speaker 1: Pilate proceeds to his palace where he will receive refreshment and rest, and where he will stand in judgment of those accused of being enemies of Caesar. He will be Caesar's Angel of Death, deciding who should be imprisoned, who flogged, who crucified as a warning of the government's wrath.

Speaker 2: Jesus proceeds to the temple where he overthrows the money-changers, blesses the offering of widows, and delivers the great commandment to love one another. He will be the Angel of Deliverance, the Passover lamb who will bring mercy and peace to a people in darkness.

Speaker 1: Pilate will have the dust of the road washed from his body with water scented with aromatic oils. He will be perfectly groomed, his ornaments polished until they shine gloriously with precious metals and jewels.

Speaker 2: Jesus will carry the dust of the road in his clothes, having only his feet athed and perfumed by the touch of an unknown woman. He still looks like a carpenter's son although his feet carry the scent of a king.  A king or a dead man.

Speaker 1: As the day draws to a close, Pilate is surrounded by many important men. They eat richly of the foods of the kingdom. They applaud the greatness of Caesar, the abundance of being in the ruling class. They congratulate themselves on being on top of the social pyramid.

Speaker 2: As the day draws to a close, Jesus is surrounded by his friends. They eat the ritual foods of their ancestors, the Passover feast. They remember God's faithfulness, remember how death passed them over their last night in Egypt. They remember that they are a delivered people, and that the kingdom of God surrounds them and lives within them.

Speaker 1: At the end of the week, Pilate exits the great city having fulfilled his political obligation, ready to return to his lovely home of Caesarea Maritima, his palace on the coast.

Speaker 2: At the end of the week Jesus leaves the the city too, having fulfilled his obligation to his Father. He leaves not for a coastal palace but for a tomb. Where he waits, in death, for the next step in God's plan to be fulfilled.

Speaker 1: Two leaders enter into Jerusalem.

Speaker 2: Two leaders come to the great city.

Speaker 1: Which crowd is ours? The one which quakes in fear before military might?

Speaker 2: Or the one who dances in the street, calling "Hosanna! God help us!" fully believing that our prayers will be answered?