Totally inspired by three things today: 1) My pastor's sermon on what can happen when people come together 2) The chapter on Palm Sunday from The Last Week by Marcus Borg and Dominic Crossan and 3) Rob Bell's podcast on counter-narrative.
Jesus' parade through Jerusalem on a donkey was happening the same time as Rome's imperial procession on the other side of the city. From Borg/Crossan: "Jesus' procession proclaimed the kingdom of God; Pilate's proclaimed the power of empire...Two processions entered Jerusalem that day. The same question, the same alternative, faces those who would be faithful to Jesus today. Which procession are we in? Which procession do we want to be in?" And which narrative are we buying into? The narrative of Empire and Domination, or the narrative of Peace and Inclusion?
That's where this poem comes from. I think you can guess which procession I'm in. Though I'mfearful, full of mixed motives, and second-guessing myself most the time, I want to be entering through the wrong gate.
Coming in through the Wrong Gate
There is no press release.
Nothing's gone viral.
No glossy posters
or monogrammed hats,
no tour buses or theme songs.
It's pathetic, really--
just a donkey, some branches ripped from trees,
But still, they are coming,
pouring out of every forgotten crevice
in this besieged city--
peasants, cripples, children.
Zealots, immigrants, castoffs,
the blind, deaf, dumb, diseased and disgraced.
Farmers, beggars, women,
dogs, pigs, roosters,
dusty, clear-eyed, determined
to upend this old domination story
and start telling a new one.