Holy Hospital Week: Praise

I’m missing the usual prayers and rythmn of Holy Week, the lead up to Easter. So I thought I’d share reflections from around the hospital ward that chime with Holy Week themes. Today my theme is Praise. 

The photo of the Cambridge K ward ‘Appreciation Board’ … the thankyous that are given to the staff for all their care. Cards & gifts galore come in. Actually, Katy brought in a box of chocolates for the nurses yesterday. I know, you usually give them chocolates to say thank you on the last day, when you leave. These aren’t a bribe to make sure I get good care. Honest. Actually, these are the chocolates that we bought for the last time I was on the ward, a week and a half ago. It may seen the wrong way around, but it’s not really. 

And that Holy Week starts with praise seems like the wrong way round too. Glory to God!’ shout the crowds, in the excitement of the moment. They are saying thankyou to Jesus without really knowing what he is about to do. 

With the benefit of hindsight we want to shout out that this is too early. The horrifying sacrifice is going to happen in a few days time and the victory follows that. The praise is too early. 

But maybe in the shock and surprise of the resurrection, massive praise and a raucous outpouring of emotion is too much to expect. 

And Jesus deserves this kind of full on praise. After all, as he’s said several times, he is going to be glorified, lifted up. He will earn the adulation of the masses. Give it up big for Jesus. The children are shouting the loudest and when asked to shut them up, Jesus makes it known that the rowdiness of youth is just what this day is about. Full-throttled thanks will seep from the stones if not called out by the kids. 

They may not realise it, but the crowds are seeing the most important week in world history unfold. The sins of the world are being paid for. Humanity is being reconciled to our creator. All creation is being transformed and the terror of death is being undone. So a few praises are just what is needed, even if given in ignorance. 

So today we praise God. 

Do it big. 

Do it loud. 

With all of you heart, mind, soul and strength. 

Read the story of Palm Sunday here.