Message 04 05 20 Palm Sunday

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 

Through faith 


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 

That’s okay! 

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 

For humanity 

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 

Psalm 118 

A song of victory, a song asking God for success 

Asking God to “save us”, to “deliver us” or liberate 

Last verse: 

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!