In many churches, today is known as “Palm Sunday.” It marks the Sunday prior to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
According to Matthew 21:8-10, as Jesus was entering Jerusalem…
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
“Hosanna” is one of those words that most people don’t use every day. In fact, outside of Palm Sunday, I can’t think of any other time Christians say it. I can’t think of any time, ever, a non-Christian would use it. Hosanna means something like, “save us!” On Palm Sunday, the crowds recognized Jesus has the one who had come to save Israel (and the world).
I offer this explanation simply as a prelude to a funny story…
As I said, very few people outside of the Church have ever heard or used the word, “hosanna.” When I was a campus minister at Florida State University, many of the students attending our ministry hadn’t grown up attending church. One in particular, a gullible young man, asked some of his churched-friends what “hosanna” means. Seeing an opportunity to have some fun at their friend’s expense, they told him a “hosanna” was a special kind of hat worn in worship, just for special occasions, and that he needed to get one. If you knew this particular student, you’d understand this better.
He actually believed their explanation of “hosanna,” for some time, and was frequently asked whether or not he had acquired a hosanna hat yet, or not.
I still chuckle every Palm Sunday when I hear “hosanna” in worship. And, I did, again, today.
I’m not sure what a “hosanna hat” might look like. A turbin? A yarmulke? A beanie? A miter? A skull cap? A fedora? A bonnet? A baseball cap? A bandana? A top hat? A sombrero? A bowler? A helmet? A chapeau?
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of “hosanna hats.” This world is such a mess – I’m generally such a mess! – a hat that somehow communicates “save us!” doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, after all. Maybe they should be massed produced and distributed, ASAP!
What would your “hosanna hat” look like?
Have a blessed Palm Sunday. “Hosanna in the highest!”