The mash-up of Palm Sunday and Good Friday, now called Palm / Passion Sunday can give the more conservative church year people the willies, and I know because I was one of them at one point, but if we can get past the temptation to fulminate against “settling” or other nonsense, there are some really great things for us.
We are mixed up people so having at least one Sunday where we are “forced” to look “mixed up” square in the face is a good thing. All of us have had at least one day where we were faced with an inescapable mixture of what we want and what we don’t. Perhaps it was your wedding day and a parent or grandparent or other loved one couldn’t be there. Or the birth of your first child and you couldn’t show them off to that special person who would have so enjoyed it. If we love people and they die, we are guaranteed to have these sorts of days. We can ignore either the joy or the sorrow on these days but if we do we are robbing ourselves of part of what it means to be human.
We don’t have to like those sorts of days but we owe it to ourselves to enter fully into them. We can honour the memory of loved ones in the midst of celebration. We can think of the joy of the Triumphal Entry while also considering the horror of Good Friday. We live in a fallen world where these mixed up days are ever before us. It does us well to figure out how to work with and through them; I hope one or both of these sermons helps.