It's a weekend version of Brian's Blog – and that's because tomorrow is Palm Sunday!
Palm Sunday is crowned by a procession every year, leading from the small site on the backside (Eastern side) of the Mount of Olives called Bethphage.
This is the small place that Jesus is said to have often retired to (amongst other places on the Mount) with His Disciples.
Bethphage means 'House of Figs' and is associated particularly with Jesus' mounting of the donkey to begin His triumphal journey into Jerusalem.
The procession winds it's way along the ancient road that leeds from Jericho to Jerusalem and goes over the summit for the classic view of Jerusalem and then down through the valley to it's entrance into the Old City via the Lions Gate.
Celebrations finish with a brief service and singing at the grounds of the magnificent Church of St. Anne's at Bethesda.
It is a real coming together of the various expressions within the Western Christian community. This year the Eastern Churches Celebrate their Easter commemorations the following week.
The procession usually averages 10,000 participants, with many organized groups singing in their respective languages and waiving the traditional palm branches.
The one word that is said most this day is 'Hosanna'.
This Hebrew word has two primary meanings: 'praise' and 'save us Lord'.
That of course speaks to the crowds crying out to Jesus to be their Savior – perhaps on that day in the physical sense from the Romans more than from the release of spiritual bondage.
Obviously their were those who wanted Jesus to be the Lord of their lives, and understood that life is bigger than what we know of it.
This is one reason I enjoy so much sharing in the witness of Palm Sunday. It foreshadows that Day when Jesus will return, ushering with Him the New Jerusalem, the recreation of the heavens and earth, and the sin-less eternity.
…and on that day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess, along with all creation, that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Until then, join me in a triumphant HOSANNA tomorrow!
Middle East Correspondent