17 April 2011

hosanna, hey-sanna, sanna, sanna-ho

At Palm Sunday, I always want to sing this:
Hosanna, hey, sanna, sanna sanna ho
Sanna, hey, sanna, hosanna
Hey, JC, JC, you're all right by me
Sanna hosanna, hey superstar!

But seeing as it's from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, I don't think it'd be the most worshipful beginning to Holy Week.

It's catchy, though, and that's why, as I watched the procession go past today, I wanted to belt it out as I waved my palm branch.

It includes that rather accessible way of praising Jesus: Hey, Jesus, you're all right.

It's like saying casually to him, "Oh, hey, Jesus, you're pretty cool, you know. Nice, friendly, good listener, really a giver. Yeah, you're all right."

And while all that's true, of course, it's not enough for me—not enough recognition of his kingship and how he is the Lord and how he was there when God created light and flowers.

But I must confess, that "Oh, hey, Jesus" is more how I live my life and my faith.

I say every week at church that I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light.

I profess my faith in that way on a Sunday, but come a normal Wednesday afternoon, Jesus is in the back of my mind.

We mostly have a casual relationship, Jesus and I, one where I usually think of him as a really good friend who does stuff for me when I ask and who also listens to me when I have something to process.

Oh, and he died for my sins and loves me despite my sins.

Although I'm well-aware of his sovereignty and although I often pause to marvel at his creation {oh, how a tiny bud on a tree can make me praise him for his goodness}, I don't take time every day to marvel at his kingship.

So that's why I like Palm Sunday. That's why I like Holy Week.

It is time to worship him for his sacrifice and kingship.

Sometimes, I need help being guided through emotions. Any emotions, not just faith-related ones—I'm not a natural crier, so if I need to cry, I will watch Rudy, which has the peculiar effect of making me cry every time I watch plucky Rudy run onto the field to play for Notre Dame. I don't understand this, but I will take what emotional release I can.

Holy Week guides me through the emotions of recognizing what Jesus has done for me and then worshiping him for that. It starts with the joy of Palm Sunday—and it's not hard for me to get swept up in joy when the procession goes past, banners flying, kids dancing, everyone singing about the King of Glory.

I like to say Palm Sunday is a pep rally for Jesus, the kick-off to Holy Week. That may seem a bit glib, especially coming after this "I need to recognize his kingship" talk, but it's true.

The whole point of pep rallies are to get you fired up, and Palm Sunday does that. It lets me dance with joy, wave a palm branch with abandon, sing hosanna to the Son of David.

It gives me the words to praise him, a deep praise welling up from knowing what will happen in just a few days, when we remember his crucifixion.

Hey JC, JC, you're more than all right by me: you're the King of Glory for me.


  1. It never fails to amaze me how you can take something like the lines to a rock musical and turn them to a reflection on your faith, which in turn, brings me to reflect on my faith. Thank the Lord for Holy Week and thank you for helping me get even more out of this holy week.

  2. Glad we share a love of musicals, Katie :) And VERY glad that we got to go through Holy Week together...!



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