Day 37: alarming sound
I think this is what happened. In the early fall of 2009, when Jim and I visited Harleysville for the first time, we were riding around in Carolyn’s car, and were stopped at a stoplight. Right then an obnoxious, alarming, deafening, frightening sound went off–very close to us. Of course, if we had been alone, we would have eventually figured out what it was. But fortunately Carolyn was driving, and was able to explain that to us that we happened to be quite close to a township siren–so there was probably a fire somewhere. I still think of that sound often–not every time I drive by the siren, which is pictured here, but often.
I imagine that for the crowd on that first Palm Sunday, the sounds of “Hosanna” aimed at the man on the donkey weren’t so alarming. For some, maybe, but not for most. After all, crowd mentality takes over, and you simply jump in. But for the religious authorities, who were trying to do whatever they could to get rid of the guy… this would be alarming. It would further confirm their need to take action against Jesus. Little did they know that their actions would only help fulfill scripture, some of the very scriptures they claimed to subscribe to.
Before we get too down on the religious leaders, though, let’s remind ourselves that we don’t always like the sounds of Jesus. We don’t mind the ones like “Hosanna”, which mean “Save, please!” And we don’t mind the nice, gentle-Jesus… but the one who challenges us beyond what’s comfortable, the one who suggests that we need to live differently… the one who even would die on the cross? Sometimes these “sounds” of Jesus are a bit too jarring, alarming, and somewhat frightening.