They shout “Hosanna!” which isn’t cheering in church, but a prayer, a cry for help meaning “Save us now!” Mark alludes to the obscure Zechariah – who had given up on human rulers and prophesied that “On that day the Lord God will save them… Lo your king comes humble and riding on a donkey.” What foolish person would draw attention in such a meek, easily-mocked way? There is some mystery afoot here. And we begin to understand that Jesus never protects his own dignity, but is ready to fling it aside to love anybody.
What is the homiletical takeaway? Go thou and so likewise? Hardly. We simply find ourselves in the crowd, excited yet with the hunch that a week of agony for this holy one is beginning. Just before Lent we observed the Transfiguration. No takeaway there. The disciples fell on their faces in awe. I dream of the sermon that has no moral, no lesson, but simply causes all of us to say Wow, Jesus is amazing, so courageous, so humble, so loving, so bold, so holy, so divine. That’s really enough, isn’t it?