By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 36, spreading their cloaks on the road
Wait, what? Cloaks? I thought it was palms… Palm Sunday, right? I’m intrigued by this change in detail as Luke describes Jesus’ final arrival in Jerusalem. The Gospel of Luke, more so than Matthew or Mark’s Gospels, aligns Jesus with the poor and marginalized. He understands his ministry of love, hope, and healing to be for all people—Gentiles and Jews, men and women, the rich, the lowly, and the despised. I wonder if this detail points to the poverty of the crowds who have gathered to welcome Jesus to town. At Mercy, more so than anywhere else I’ve been, I have witnessed a radical generosity with things. If one hears that we have nothing more to offer from the clothing closet and someone is in need—clothing is damp or dirty—almost without fail, clean clothes are procured from a bag and gifted. Moreover, we have to be creative with what we do have. Neck ties become festive belts and drinking glasses become candle stands. Years ago, as one of our congregants started to miscarry at the end our Sunday service, we laid the cloth from the communion table on the floor and tried to comfort her as she cringed and wept. Things are just things. Surely laying cloaks—the most expensive clothing item—on the ground to be trampled is a messy business for their owners but what a wonderfully selfless, creative, repurposed carpet to greet the King of Kings.
Prayer God of creation, may my resources be used as radical hospitality for your glory.