Sermons by “The Rev. Della Wager Wells”
Join in the procession around your living room or kitchen waving your own leafy branch from your yard. Remember that palms are a very recent way of celebrating Passion Sunday. Our English translation of the passage from Matthew in the Liturgy of the Palms refers to “branches from trees,” and indeed while palm trees grew in Jericho, near the Dead Sea, and along the coast near Jaffa, Caesarea Maritima, and Akko, there were no palm trees in Jerusalem or Bethphage until the late 20th century. The “leafy branches” could very well have been olive branches, which were and are still common in that area.View Sermon
I know that this is tough to hear. But this is also a time for creativity and imagination, and there are people all around us who are doing amazingly kind things every day. God shows up in our responses to adversity — in our life-giving choices of patience and generosity. We can certainly stay busy counting all the things we can’t do now, or that aren’t safe for us, but I don’t think that we’ll be very happy doing that. But when, through our imagination and creativity, we find joy and wonder in new ways of being together during times of social distancing and quarantine, the glory of God is revealed.View Sermon
The interaction of our sacred and secular calendars is fascinating. As we walk through the last weeks of Epiphany, we are preparing for Lent, our time of holy reflection and contemplation. Lent is the time when we remember Jesus’ preparation in the wilderness before he began his earthly ministry. We are also approaching the order deadline for palms for Palm Sunday, when the church remembers Jesus’ walk into Jerusalem at the beginning of our celebration of Holy Week.
So how do we prepare for our earthly ministry as followers of Jesus, all as our sacred and secular calendars interweave in real time? Shall we order ECO palms or traditional, long palms? ECO palms are essentially fair trade palms, harvested as whole fronds, with individual leaves fanning out like rays from a center spikey stem.View Sermon