Remember those date balls that mom used to make…and rave over? They weren’t my favorite. But it turns out that dates were a favorite sugary treat in the lands Jesus walked. The palms that they grew on were plentiful in that area but the dates themselves took a long time to ripen. This made dates a rare treat. The palms from these trees are most likely the ones that were pulled down to lay in the road for Jesus.
So I bought a bag of dates and I debated how to set them before my kids while talking about the Triumphal entry of Christ. Easy won, and they went in a bowl to serve with our Sunday lunch. The other visual I used for Palm Sunday this year was a purple and blue runner down the table (made of ribbons and a plastic table cloth…fancy, I know). I put some blue and purple foods out in blue bowls and plates. I used things like blueberries, blue corn chips and grapes to go with our Sunday feast. The question is given to the kids.
“Why purples and blues on Palm Sunday?”
Purple and blue were rare colors in those days because the dye was made of plants that were very hard to find. Only royalty and the very rich would have had the money to buy cloth this color. We put them on our table Palm Sunday to remind us of the Royal King who entered Jerusalem…but not as people expected. Jesus was not wearing royal robes and getting an army ready to fight, he was getting ready to die. This last week of Jesus’ life began with the people ready to throw royal robes and a crown on him and ended with a purple robe being ripped off of his bloody back in mockery.
“Hosanna!” Is cried today
But on Friday the soldiers will mock and spit, “Hail! King of the Jews!”