A reflection for Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday 2009

Mark 15:

Marian Free

In the name of God who calls us to give God our all. Amen.

D. H. Lawrence wrote a poem Phoenix. about the mythical bird of the same name.

Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled,

made nothing?

Are you willing to be made nothing?

dipped into oblivion?

If not, you will never really change.

The phoenix renews her youth

only when she is burnt, burnt alive,

burnt down to hot and flocculent ash.

Then the small stirring of a new small bub

in the nest with strands of down like floating ash

shows that she is renewing her youth like the eagle,

Immortal bird. Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled, made nothing?

Are you, am I willing to identify so closely with God that we would give up everything that separates us from God? Are you, am I willing to give ourselves so fully that our individuality and our humanity become absorbed into God’s divinity? Are you, am I prepared to risk everything – our hopes and aspirations, our possessions and our talents, even our lives, confident that God will give it back many times over? Are we prepared to be sponged out, so that we might rise renewed and indestructible?

Our journey of faith is a journey into God. We are here so that God can be formed in us and so that we can be formed into God. We are called to daily die to ourselves so that we can live to God. We are asked to become nothing so that in and through God we can become something. During Holy Week and Easter we are challenged to walk with Jesus to the cross, to ask ourselves once more whether we have the courage and the faith to go the distance, to consider whether, like Jesus we can submit ourselves completely to the will of God, no matter where that might lead, and whether we have the confidence to let go of everything believing that God will restore it all to us and more.

Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled,

made nothing?

It is only when we have nothing more to lose, we discover that we have lost nothing and gained everything. It is only when we are willing to become nothing. we discover that God has already given us far more than we could ever need.

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