Reverend David Warner, who is the Vicar of Mossley, looks ahead to Palm Sunday and what it means in his latest column for us.
This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of what Christians call Holy Week, as we walk with Jesus on his final steps, from his entry into Jerusalem, to the Last Supper, to his arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday, and then to the appearance at the empty tomb on Easter Day.
On Palm Sunday we remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem (for many faiths the holiest city on earth) on a donkey and people cheering his arrival and waving palm branches.
Those who welcomed Jesus hailed him as a king and they hoped he was entering the city to overthrow the hated Roman authorities.
As events transpired, Jesus wasn’t the military leader they had been looking for, and by the end of the week the same crowd shouted for him to be crucified.
Holy Week is a stark reminder that leadership can be perilous - our hero today can be our enemy tomorrow, and political power can sadly often have more to do with pleasing sections of human society than with doing the right thing - justice, freedom and liberty are crucial, but hard won and need constant vigilance to defend in a world where sometimes easy answers are more attractive than tough integrity.
As we start the week, restrictions are planned to ease again slightly from March 29 - we hope and pray that as spring continues to brighten our world, and as we celebrate the season to come, we too can enjoy our hard won, costly freedoms.