Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, April 03, 2023

Palm Sunday and Holy Week - Rector's Rambling for April 2, 2023

 All glory, laud, and honor, to thee Redeemer, King!  To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

The Palm Sunday triumphal entry. It is a scene we re-create here at St. John’s at the 10:00 AM service as it is re-created in Jerusalem each year.  And although we won’t have quite as many people processing around St. John’s as they do there, we too will proclaim as does that crowd, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”

Today begins the last, bittersweet week of our Lord’s earthly life and ministry.  Today there is rejoicing and celebration: Jesus has entered Jerusalem and is being proclaimed King!  The crowd erupts with joy, places palms at His feet, and join the happy throng as he enters into Jerusalem.

But before long in today’s service, the mood will change.  Although it took a few days before Jesus was betrayed, given up into the hands of wicked men, and crucified, we will commemorate that within the context of this same service.  Today we also hear the Passion Gospel, recounting Jesus’ last 24 hours on earth.

It is a stark juxtaposition of such a joyful welcome to, in a few days, a betrayal, conviction, and execution.  But the church bids us to look at both as a wonderful reminder of the reality that although many rejoice to see Jesus, and accept him gladly, there are many who do not and will seek to destroy Him if they get the chance.

I implore you to make this a fruitful Holy Week.  Attend Tenebræ (Wednesday 7:00 PM), Maundy Thursday (7:00 PM), Good Friday (Noon to 3:00 PM), and The Easter Vigil (Saturday 6:00 PM), in addition to the Easter Day celebration.  If you cannot attend all, attend a large number of them.  Today and the liturgies of Holy Week set up perfectly for us the celebration of Easter Day!  Take advantage of these opportunities for greater holiness!