Sunday : Following the Crowd

Yesterday I found myself caught up in a street parade! Clapping and dancing, sometimes pushing my way through through crowds on Cuba Street following this amazing band from New Orleans…

At the time I didn’t know what the band was called, where they were heading or how long the parade would go for. I was caught up in the beat, the movement and it was so exciting to be part of something bigger. It was so loud that even if I had asked questions, I would not have been able to hear the answers.

Today is Palm Sunday on the church calendar. It is the day we recall Jesus’s big entrance into Jerusalem. You can read about this famous parade here.

Yet, in a few days the crowd will be calling for Jesus to be crucified. Demanding that the political powers of the day sentence Jesus to death.

I see myself in both these crowds.

One day I’m chanting with the crowd. I could be at a protest or a public meeting. Usually I get motivated to make a stand on an issue as I’m become part of a movement, a group. I think of how Auckland Peace Action has enabled myself and members of Church in Progress to become more involved in working for peace. This is a positive experience and it shows the power of working together.

Yet, I see myself in the crowd calling for Jesus’s execution too. It might not be as obvious. Mostly it happens when I choose to stay silent. I don’t want to go against the crowd. Succumbing to my need to be liked by others, not wanting to piss people off or simple laziness. Ignorance can feel like bliss sometimes. Can I even admit to myself how many times I have avoided finding out more about a situation or issue as I know it will be distressing or I might have to act?

If I’m honest, there are times when I have been vocal and it hasn’t been the best choice. Hindsight makes me cringe at times and I realise how many thoughtless things have fallen out my mouth due to my privilege… I’m a white, educated, heterosexual, earner, able-bodied person.

Sometimes I hear the collective ‘voice’ of that privilege and don’t question it. That voice can be so loud as it is often the voice of the media.

Whatever our background or status, it’s easy to surround ourselves with opinions that agree with our own. It can be hard to include or even see the ‘other’. When we stop questioning and only see solutions that benefit us, in those moments are we in that crowd calling for the death of Jesus?

Which crowd can you relate to? Or are you able to stand alone and not be influenced by others?

Would love to know your thoughts.

Rev Em

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