A Very Blessed Palm Sunday To You

Mar 24th

Holy Humor – Joke of the Day

It was Palm Sunday, but because of a sore throat, 5-year-old Johnny stayed home from church with a sitter. When the family returned home, they were carrying several palm fronds. Johnny asked them what they were for.      “People held them over Jesus’ head as he walked by,” his father told him.
“Wouldn’t you know it,” Johnny fumed, “the one Sunday I don’t go and he shows up.”

Palm Sunday – “They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:7-9)

Traditionally, is the Sunday before Easter, and begins the Christian commemoration of Holy Week.  We celebrate Palm Sunday to remember the day that Jesus entered the Holy City of Jerusalem surrounded by a crowd of followers.  Many churches hand out palm leaves, which represent the branches that were spread on the road as Jesus approached.  This is also the last Sunday of Lent, also called Passion Sunday.  The Biblical accounts of the last days of Christ’s life all agree that as he returned to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover with his followers, the crowds who were eager to proclaim Him the Messiah, ” 

On Palm Sunday Jesus entered the Holy City of Jerusalem surrounded by a crowd of followers. The palms disbursed by many churches signify the branches that were spread in on the road as Jesus approached.  “Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:13)

Palm Sunday traditions vary from denomination to denomination, and country to country.  Christian churches traditionally hold services on Palm Sunday, and leaves of palm are often shaped into crosses to symbolize Jesus’ last hours on the cross are given to the congregation.  These palm fronds are also used to be woven into symbols of the palm to hang in the Christian home during the year. 

The churches that observe Ash Wednesday by giving ashes to their members burn the palms to use for the ashes in this symbolic ceremony.  Eastern Orthodox churches give out bay or laurel leaves to be used for cooking throughout the year.

In many areas there are processions with palm fronds to commemorate the journey of Christ.  In Spain, processions and other public celebrations continue until the Monday after Easter.  In some Catholic parishes in the Philippines a priest rides a horse and is surrounded by the congregation, bearing palms to reenact Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. 

Many of us have traditional Easter meals we look forward to every year.   I know in mine it’s always been ham, scalloped potatoes, salads and probably cake.  Don’t really know why, it’s just always been that way.    We never planned a special meal for Palm Sunday though – I think after this that I may need to start.  The foods used to celebrate in other countries are different and I find it to be very interesting! Thought I’d share some of it with you, with some recipes links for you to take a look at if you’re interested.

In Great Britain, traditional foods served on Palm Sunday include fig pudding, because Jesus is said to have eaten figs on his entry into the city of Jerusalem.  In Spain, the day is known as “Sul y Blodau” or Flowering Sunday because of the association with the flowering of the fig tree.  Making split pea soup is another tradition still observed in Northern England and Scotland, which comes from the ancient practice of wearing a hard pea in the shoe as penance during Lent.  In other areas of the UK, pax cakes are given out to congregations after Palm Sunday services – along with best wishes for peace and brotherhood – in a custom that dates back to 1570.

In Greek tradition the Lenten fast is broken with a fish dinner on Palm Sunday featuring salt cod.  Some parts of Italy have homemade fettuccine pasta topped with tomato sauce, bread crumbs and chopped nuts as a customary Palm Sunday Dish.  More modern interpretations of appropriate foods to be eaten on Palm Sunday include hearts of palm in salads or side dishes to observe the day.

No matter how this special day is honored in your family or church, the significance it holds for all of us is deep and true, and leads us up to the miracle of Easter.

National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day – I LOVE LOVE LOVE chocolate covered raisins.  Where else do you get this lovely and tasty combination of chocolate and fruit?  I found some the other day in the bulk section at one of our grocery stores that have the sugar free chocolate – sweetened with maltitol and NOT with chemicals! My oh my, are they DELICIOUS! I’ve been munching on them for a few days now, but kept a few back just for today.  Now, if we use some twisted logic we can justify chocolate covered raisins as a health food. Stay with me here . . . Chocolate is made from cocoa beans (a vegetable) and raisins are from grapes (a fruit), and since we ALL know that vegetables and fruits are good for you, we can logically deduce through the fuzzy lens of fuzzy logic, that chocolate covered raisins are healthy! Yeah! So, grab some and enjoy them today!

Be blessed on this special day, and may the significance of this time of the year speak to your heart.  God Bless You, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

 

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