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Year B, Palm Sunday, 2018 – I Love a Parade! “LIVE!”

March 21, 2018 / Molly Douthett / Palm Sunday

Hey everyone! We broke with our pattern and have produced a show for Palm Sunday! In the past, we have simply assumed that people have some customs around this day that happen every year, so we have quietly gone about leaving this day and Easter out of the line up. This year, we thought we would do a “live” episode – simply scribble some notes on our worksheet (see link below), turn on the microphones, and see what happens! We kept coming back to a lot of parade imagery, as it turns out. We ran through the text from start to finish with a few return trips here and there to check out interesting scenery we missed on the first pass through and managed to find something for every intelligence – except MATH smart. Sorry, guys. If *you* happen to think of something that fits the profile of the intelligence (which you can see at the link at the top right of the page, click on Howard Gardner’s name), let us know. We tried to force some things into the category, but they turned out to fit better in other places. At any rate, here is a sorta live show to get your creative gears meshed and turning!


This week’s text is:

Mark 11:1-11 [01:58]

We decided to cover only the Gospel passage for this week. This is the story that gives the day its name, so we thought it would be best to stick with it. The Psalm for the day is quoted in the middle of the passage and the people throw their cloaks on the road, which echoes 2 Kings 9:13 and the anointing of Jehu. As a spectacle, the event has long roots in the peoples’ history.

In the podcast, we meander all over the place, so these show notes will not match what we recorded very well. Instead, I’m going to go from top to bottom in the categories, beginning with WORD smart. As a special effect, try presenting this passage as Reader’s Theater. I kept coming back to the idea of updating the processional to a more contemporary setting which you could do here. Also for a special effect, the word “hosanna” means “save us”, so see what happens if you use the translation instead of the traditional word as people wave palms.  

We started with EYE smart in the podcast and as usual, EYE smart is a great place to break out maps or pictures to show geographical details and distances. For a special effect, incorporate tableau vivant as a way to present the passage. You could try a contemporary setting here, as well.

Have you ever had your congregation process into the sanctuary to start the service? This is a great BODY smart special effect. So is waving the palms! As an illustration for this intelligence, talk about how people get to their feet to applaud athletes, performers, or politicians. Talk about how concert goers jump up and down and how proud band parents will walk along the parade route to take pictures of their kids, or people will stand around for hours waiting for a political rally to start. Work in how exhausting each of these can be!

You may already have your standards for MUSIC for Palm Sunday, but I found this long list of options when I did a Google search. In keeping with the parade idea, you could really go outside the box and use a John Philip Sousa march!

NATURE smart centers around the colt Jesus sent his disciples to fetch. In the podcast, I remark that I was always impressed with Jesus’ riding ability in that he was willing to mount an unbroken animal! Much has been written about the irony of a king riding a small mount rather than a mighty warhorse so you could compare the differences between the two types. A church David served in Ohio would have a donkey walk, so if you also have access to someone who is willing to bring an animal by, go for it!

In PEOPLE smart, Jesus told his disciples what to say if anyone objected to them walking off with someone else’s colt. This has always seemed odd to me. In the podcast, David gives a reason for why this may have happened which made me think to illustrate this “code” by referring to the Enigma machine and Code Talkers. Also, people will often get energized by drawing near to a destination after a long trip, so you might talk about how the disciples may have been excited to finally reach Jerusalem.

In SELF smart, ask people to put themselves in the setting described and think about how they respond to parades. I must admit, I really enjoy them and always get a bit wistful when high school bands march past. I was a band geek all four years in high school and always felt a great sense of belonging when we marched in parades. I was part of something bigger than I was but I was also an important part of it. Yay, band!


Image Credit: Copyright: paylessimages / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.


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