Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

(I hope Joel at Crummy Church Signs doesn't mind if I borrow this picture.)

You really do have to wonder about a sign like this. In particular, I wonder about the church's slogan, "Through the fire to the fire." Presumably, they're headed to the fire for posting a sign that attributes the quote, "Bring me that ass," to Jesus.

I hoped, when I saw this, that the sign's decorator had simply made an unfortunate choice of biblical translations, but alas, no. I can find no translation in which Jesus says, "Bring me that ass," so we're forced to conclude that someone was knowingly making an inappropriate attempt to be funny. A more correct quote would read something like, "And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me" (Matthew 21.1-2). I guess that's not as catchy.

We are now down to the final week of Lent. This is Palm Sunday, when we celebrate, wait a minute...this is Palm Sunday, when we celebrate Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, during which the crowds put palm branches and coats in front of Jesus while he rode into the city on a donkey. This is the beginning of Holy Week, or as some call it and I prefer, Passion Week. This Thursday is Maundy Thursday, when we,* this Friday is the curiously named Good Friday, the swell day when our Savior got arrested, falsely accused, and executed, and then next Sunday is Easter (or Resurrection Sunday for the purists).

If you're absolutely riveted to your computers, wondering if I'll finish the Complete Works of Josephus before Easter, all I can say is, been there, done that. I finished all the parts Josephus wrote on Friday, along with the excerpt on Hades that translator William Whiston incorrectly attributed to him. I'm currently in Whiston's bizarre little set of essays in the appendix, of which there are seven, and of which I'm on the fourth. In the near future, I'll give another reflection on the reading and follow that up with a proper book review of the edition I'm using. That will polish off our Lenten Fiction Fast, and then this blog can get back down to its regular business of wallowing in science fiction, action movies, and comic books while occasionally straining for an allegory.

*The good Archdeacon Smiter will flay me alive if I don't mention that it's called Maundy Thursday because it is a celebration of the Last Supper, the Passover meal at which Christ instituted the Eucharist, and that maundy is from the first word of the Latin of John 13.34, which I'm going to let you look up yourself, since that's the normal thing to do with passages from John, at least at baseball games.
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