March 26, 2018

Mark 11:9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!

I’m not a big soccer fan but I have a memory of breezing through the TV channels and stopping on a game with the crowd chanting or actually singing “Ole, ole, ole, ole” (you can put the accent marks in mentally). I assumed it was a Spanish team and a Spanish crowd but as I watched a little longer it became evident that both teams were English and the match was being held in England. Still, the folks were using this Spanish language cheer very comfortably. Many years ago now, Arnold Schwarzenegger played an American character who made famous the phrase “hasta la vista, baby.” When Mark wrote his story of Palm Sunday he indicated that the crowd was shouting “Hosanna” and still today we use the word in our liturgy and hymns on Palm Sunday. It is a Hebrew word meaning “save now” and comes out of Psalm 118. Even though Mark was writing in Greek for Greek speaking people he kept the word in its Hebrew form rather than translating it. Even Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber made use of it in their song about Palm Sunday from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It is not the sound of a word or its written form that makes it communicate. It is the meaning in the mind and heart of the speaker and the hearer. What are you hearing this Holy Week? What are you saying? What kind of “Save Now” do you look for from Jesus?

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