Thursday, April 5, 2007

Palm This!

It was Palm Sunday, as all you Christian church-going folks would be expected to know. It was also the first Sunday of the month, and at our church, that means it's Take a Sinner Friend to Church Day. So we're all wearing name tags. Most of us with the correct names on them. (Ryan puts "Bob" on his. Oh, guys, we are so funny in my household!) For us, Take a Sinner Friend to Church Day also requires Pete's attendance.

[Okay, it really is "Friend" and not "Sinner." It's a nice concept. It really is. But, as is my natural inclination with nearly all nice concepts, I have ruined it. For me, at least, and, quite possibly, for others.]

The felt board story this week dealt with Jesus arriving in Jerusalem and being met by adoring throngs of folks. (Wikipedia can tell the story much better than me.) And they were waving palm branches, welcoming him. So that's the basis for the palm branches. And then there are palm crosses nowadays. And we re-enact the moment to a degree, with branches passed out and crosses tossed out. [Sadly, the addition of palm crosses is where it has ended. No Palm Pilots are tossed out. Maybe in the coming years.]

And, of course, we're at the children's service, so the more crosses that are tossed into the air -- thanks for that, Fr. Phil -- the more scrambling and grabbing and arguing there is among the throngs of children hankering for more and more and more crosses. 'Cause Palm Sunday is all about getting the most crosses, isn't it?

Soon, we've got a bloodbath on our hands, as kids now completely ignore the priest, the parents and the very stern Mother Susan. Lukifer doesn't fail me, that's for sure, as he repositions the cross to make it into a very cool dagger.

I'm quite impressed. Really, I am. All these years of going to church, first in the hush-hush Catholic setting and now in the kick-back Episcopalian one, and I've never noticed how easily crosses turn into swords. It's me, right? The rest of y'all have seen it for years.

So what did my kids get out of Palm Sunday services? Cuts from palm swords hurt about the same as a paper cut does. I can't wait to find out what their take-away is from Easter services!

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