Preparing for Palm Sunday

Preparing for Palm Sunday? Now? Really? Of course, in theory, we should always be looking ahead to avoid doing things in haste. For example, the joyful celebration of Palm Sunday has not left my mind since hearing a friend describe her experience of Holy Week on a recent trip to Germany.  Throughout history many faith communities have reenacted the moment Jesus fulfilled prophecy and rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Most use palm branches because that mimics what was done in Jerusalem. Have you ever paused to think about why Palm branches? Well of course...palm trees were part of the landscape so they were readily available. But my friend worshiping in Germany on Palm Sunday had the pleasant surprise of the congregation waving bits of boxwood cuttings to remember the joyful entry of Jesus. Why boxwood? Because the boxwood plants are part of the landscape in this part of Germany and were readily available. Carrot Top Studio is trying to be a better steward of our resources by using eco-friendly fabrics in our stoles as often as possible. This focus has heightened our awareness of other efforts made in this way. And therefore when I learned of the boxwood branches on Palm Sunday I had an ah-ha moment. This sounds like a very sustainable demonstration of using what is local.  I know some congregations use the palms at the end of worship to turn them into ashes for Ash Wednesday, and some people fold their palm branches into crosses as a devotional image to focus upon, but what about all of those palm branches that just get thrown away at the end of worship.....after the expense of shipping them a great distance in the first place? Are there better ways to celebrate? There are eco-friendly efforts among some growers so at least the palms are being provided in a way not to destroy plants. If you are interested in these eco-palms you might appreciate this article. But, maybe we can go a step further in our efforts as we plan for what will visually enhance our worship services to accent the Word and draw us deeper into our faith. Maybe you have ideas you can share? Regardless thanks for listening! Putting my soap box