As a Spiritualist Pastor Palm Sunday is a difficult Sunday to prepare for since we are not Christians and many of our folks have come to us from other beliefs where this season has quite different connotations. We do not accept the concept of Jesus as our savior nor do we believe He died to save us from our sins. We also do not take the teachings of the Bible or any other holy writings literally – we teach and believe in using our own minds to accept or reject what we can understand and believe freely, to table the matter until we have had time to meditate, thinking things through then making the decision our soul vibrates with most comfortably. We believe that as we grow forth in our life experience we change and sometimes things we didn’t understand become plain and clearly understood later in our lives. We also do not accept a belief that holds us to its teachings through the fear of eternal damnation if we do not embrace the tenants of a religious denomination - any denomination or any church.
Therefore Palm Sunday to us has little significance. There are however interesting things about this date we can discuss. Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey – figures riding horses signified a war like figure while a donkey was not considered a threatening animal and those on a donkey were believed to come in peace.
Because of the location of the Holy Land palm trees were abundant. In other locations Christianity did not have access to this tropical tree so willow branches or even evergreen branches were used instead of palm branches. The placing of branches on roadways was done as an honor to those who were respected, serving to help keep the hot dust from being stirred up on the unpaved roadways making it more comfortable for the travelers.
In many beliefs where branches are handed out to congregants they are taken home and kept until the next year when they are returned to the church elders to be burned. Those ashes are used on Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) to be placed on the foreheads of worshippers in those faiths.
Anyone for whom branches were strewn was normally of a high ranking position and was welcomed by celebration and song. Without today’s television to notify and keep everyone instantly connected unusual events were a welcome break in the monotony of everyday life.
Palm Sunday is celebrated throughout Europe and the United States. It can also be found in Mexico, Canada, all of South America, the Middle East (in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel), India, Russia, and the Philippines. Basically, if Christianity is practiced in a region, they celebrate Palm Sunday. The methods in how it is practiced may differ, based on availability of plants, but the reasoning is the same. Palm Sunday is all about peace, triumph, and celebration of Jesus preparing to make His ultimate sacrifice.
In Spiritualism the most important thing to remember is that this is the Sunday prior to Easter when the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb is celebrated. Spiritualists see this as proof positive of the continuation of life after the transition called death. Jesus arose in a materialized form – and walked among the people in that state interacting with those still in their earthly or physical bodies. We demonstrate the interaction in our churches through Spirit messages or greetings normally given from Spirit to our Mediums who are able to receive impressions, visions or physical sensations from spirit and convey those expressions to congregants. There are many methods for spirit to reach through and mediums receive differently according to their abilities.
May you always be aware of the spirit of Infinite Intelligence at work in your life.