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Palm Sunday – April 14, 2019 – Luke 19:28-40
For nine years, I served as the pastor of a United Methodist congregation in a small town that had a proud tradition known as the annual Fourth of July parade. Organized by the volunteer fire department, the parade welcomed anyone who wished to be a part, including fire trucks and ambulances with sirens blaring, tractors, simple floats made from flat-bed trailers pulled behind pickups, different community organizations marching while carrying signs indicating who they were, including churches advertising vacation bible schools, and the local chapter of the Lion’s Club in their yellow polos with the brooms they sold to raise money, sweeping the road and spinning their brooms in a carefully choreographed manner.
Of course, as though it were an unwritten rule, each group in the parade threw buckets of individually wrapped candy towards the crowds who lined the sidewalks along the roughly two-mile route, candy quickly grabbed and devoured by the local children before it melted on the hot asphalt. As adults have throughout history, we teach our children three cardinal rules: do not run into the street, do not eat things that have fallen on the ground, and do not take candy from strangers. Yet for one glorious day each year, children were permitted, if not encouraged, to do all three at the same time.
It was wonderful.