Ecopalms: Proclaiming God’s Love Story For ALL
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord - the King of Israel!” + John 12:13
The children stood at the back of the sanctuary getting ready to hand out palm fronds. Their regular energy was infused with the new power of holding the deep green fans. As I attempted to contain them and the anticipatory waving until the time for the procession, I had a moment for gratitude. While only brief, among the dancing and dodging of fronds, my heart was filled with gratitude for the multitudes of people and communities that have participated in ushering in the Realm of God’s love and justice over the centuries.
The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem reminds people of faith about the ongoing work of building up a Realm that is filled with love, justice, compassion, beauty, and right relationship. God’s Realm includes all of creation: the people and the creatures; the plants and the soil; the cathedral and the forests. The opportunity to worship with sustainable and fair trade palm fronds not only reminds us of the Biblical story of Jesus, but also allows us to actively participate in the ongoing pronouncement of a collaborative and compassionate new reality.
Employing women, empowering young girls through new opportunities to attend school, preventing deforestation, and strengthening communities are all benefits of the partnership between The University of Minnesota Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agriculture Resources and rural communities in Mexico and Guatemala. Whether fronds are to adorn your communion table or to place in the excited hands of your youngsters, please consider purchasing your palms here.
Then, right before you begin the procession, stop for a moment of gratitude, give thanks to God who is coming into the world humble and riding on a donkey, "Hosanna, hosanna in the highest!"
A big SALT thank you to Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri for writing this beautiful and important blog post and for being so in love with God's good earth! Scott serves as Associate Minister for Green Chalice as well as Director of Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina.