Saturday, April 16, 2011

Palm Sunday feast

“Uh oh.”

I glanced up from the kitchen table where I was having breakfast. “What?”

My mom studied the crockpot. “It won’t fit.”

“What won’t?”

My dad crossed the kitchen to peer at the pot. “That’s a big ham.”

My mom tried rotating the meat, like one of those Tetris puzzles. “It was on sale, so, I naturally found the biggest ham… I didn’t think about the size of the crockpot.”

I could see the peak of the ham rising well over the rim, like a glacier in the Arctic. “Well, I guess we have no choice.” The scraping of a diamond knife sharpener echoed off the walls, as my dad began to hack off chunks of frozen meat, carving the dinner into a more manageable shape while dogs watched hopefully from their banishment outside the kitchen.

Despite the morning’s puzzle, I knew that by the time dinner would roll around and my grandparents arrive, the table would be stretched for guests, rolls would be steaming underneath napkins, and the glass tableware would be pulled from the hutch. The house would be straightened and vacuumed, and the refrigerator packed with chilling desserts and flower-crusted pitchers, until the aroma of juicy, honey-glazed ham would drift into every scrubbed corner.

It would be a feast.

George Cowan, the president emeritus of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, sat at my dinner table last October and regaled me with many stories of the early years in translation with Uncle Cam Townsend, Wycliffe’s founder. His words inspired me then, and I invite you to take a moment to hear what he has to say now.

Feast or Crumbs from Adam Boyd on Vimeo.

Palm Sunday dawns tomorrow, and in many parts of the US, will be welcomed with processions of little children, palm leaves waving, and joyous alleluias from the worship team. “As it is written” John’s Gospel proclaims, Jesus rode a donkey’s colt into Jerusalem.

As it is written.

The Jews knew 2000 years ago, and stroked their beards under the noise of the crowds. We know it and shout it from our pulpits and dinner tables. As it is written—hallelejuah!


But for 350 million people the page remains blank, the words unwritten in their languages.

And they wait for their Palm Sunday feast.