On Palm Sunday, we commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. His followers shouted “Hosanna” which means “Save Us” and “Have Mercy!” Someone recently pointed out to me that it’s strange that we don’t translate that word into English in the translations. I think if we did, we would perhaps have even more of an awareness that the people who put their trust in Jesus needed salvation.
Salvation is a tricky word. Christian history has made it so much about life after death that we forget, I think, that salvation also is something we need now. Just reading the news of the week, I can think of the things I’d like to be saved from (top of the list is the terrifying combination of too many AR-15s and too many people who are mentally disturbed enough to use them).
When the people shouted Hosanna so long ago, they admitted their need for someone greater than themselves. When we gather this week, we too remember that we can not save ourselves, but that God, who so loves this world (and not only the world to come), has a power and a presence that can save us from everything.