I’ve been thinking about this word Hosanna all week long.
What does it mean to shout Hosanna?
Hosanna is like our Lenten form of Alleluia kind of
Every song that you typically sing Alleluia
If you sing it during Lent it probably turns into Hosanna
It is used as an exclamation of praise and thanksgiving
Similar to Alleluia
Hosanna comes from the Hebrew word for salvation
When we cry out Hosanna it is in praise and thanksgiving yes
But it comes from the specific idea that we are saved
Or going to be saved
We must even understand that word “salvation”
It is liberation also,
like the Hebrew people set free from slavery in Egypt
And the slaves who were finally freed in this country
It means liberation from Apartheid in South Africa
It also means freedom from oppression in in any form
Even for those who are the oppressors!
It is also about healing and wholeness
About being healthy and productive in life
It also means salvation from our past, from our mistakes
Freedom from sin
Oh, and freedom even from death!
So, the people were shouting to Jesus
“Save us! Bring us liberation!
Freedom from injustice
And our own sin!
But Jesus was nonviolent,
Not what the majority expected
Willingly let go of life…
The power of the Lord Jesus then is not power-over, but is rather love, compassion, mercy, and companionship alongside.
Let go from worry
In this life
It is easy to say
But I also know that there are so many who have things worse than I do
Who are the people who are shouting Hosanna today?
Or who need to at least
Many are already living paycheck to paycheck
Working hourly and now not able to work
Many are being furloughed,
businesses cutting costs or shutting down
I’ve heard from multiple sources about just how difficult it is to be an undocumented worker in this country right now.
And the fact that the majority of the people who grow and pick our food are undocumented who are working right now during this pandemic.
Maybe a police officer, fireman, nurse, doctor, etc.
People who are keeping everything going and at a higher risk.
So many who have lost their employment or are on the edge…
How about you at home,
Afraid of getting sick, or you have gotten the virus
feeling isolated right now
Maybe all alone
Maybe you need to shout Hosanna right now!
Maybe you are even reading the sermon notes
And want to shout out “Hosanna!” to the empty space
It’s a good thing!
We need some of that energy right now.
You know what,
you are at a place where we all need to be really
We need to shout Hosanna
We need to know that we need salvation.
How much we need a connection
with God the source of all that exists
God will save us and deliver us
God will send us to help save and deliver others
That is what salvation is
It transforms us,
To live looking outward as Jesus did
Not Lording over others,
but putting himself where oppression and injustice is
In the place of someone else
To help someone else
Even unto giving of his life
As a blessing for others.
In my own liberation,
it means I humble myself before others and before the universe as a whole
Which means I more freely become
who God is making me into
But it also means I need to be aware of the injustices around me.
That I need to do something about it
Say something about it
Last week we talked about blessings and curses
In some ways, it is about our perspective on life
What seemed like a blessing on Palm Sunday
Turned out to be a curse on Good Friday
Which, turned out to be a blessing on Easter Sunday
Though not in the way that was expected…
Maybe this time we are living in
will help to illuminate for us
The injustices that are so prevalent
But stay just under our normal perception
And will also illumine for us what is most important in life
What values and standards we should seek to live up to
Isn’t that what happens to Jesus as well?
His death brings to light the great injustices that
Were happening because of the Empire and
Because of the local authorities.
And because of the complicity of the people…
And Jesus points to a higher set of values and ideals
We cannot as people who have been redeemed
Allow our communities and nations to suffer
From so much oppression
When there is any injustice
It affects all of us!
So, let us be more vigilant than ever
To caring for one another,
especially the most vulnerable.
Hosanna is also found in
A song of victory, a song asking God for success
Asking God to “save us”, to “deliver us” or liberate
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
We have the victory,
though we may seem defeated…
Through God who empowers us
So, we shout Hosanna on this day:
Hosanna to the King of mercy
Save us now, liberate us and give us freedom
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
Blessed is the one who rights the wrongs of injustice
Blessed is the one who frees the unjustly imprisoned
Blessed is the one who protects the poor and oppressed
Blessed is the one who comes to us this
and each and every day
Offering us salvation, new life, forever.
Hosanna in the highest!