From Fear to Hope: From Inadequacy to Abundance

light shines through
Photo of original artwork by Rachael Keefe ©2024 depicting an oil on canvas painting of ocean waves at night, with light coming from a lighthouse.

Palm Sunday reminds us to choose to follow the humble ways of Divine Love rather than the greedy, divisive ways of empire.

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In recent years, Palm Sunday has become one of my favorite holy days. It reminds us that the way we live our lives is a choice. Granted, it’s not an easy choice or even a choice we make only once. We must choose every day, all the time who we follow.

These days are full of anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. We tend to seek affirmation and validation from people who aren’t able to give it. We idolize entertainers and athletes while wanting politicians to fix everything that is broken. Yet, we are reluctant to engage with our neighbors.

The current empire thrives on division and will continue to stay in power as long as we fail to follow in the ways of Love. If we are afraid of our neighbors and uncertain about what tomorrow will bring, we are not likely to join together and demand change.

Jesus knew this. He spent his whole ministry literally speaking truth to power. He sought to heal those society wounded and discarded. He decentered Rome and all it’s glory and tried to recenter community, inclusion, and the abundance of God’s grace for the whole of humanity.

Jesus really wanted people to disentangle themselves from the oppressive lies of the Roman Empire. He wanted them to claim their power as people beloved by God who could actually repair what those who had come before them had broken. Jesus’ desire for humanity has not changed in 2000 years.

Palm Sunday reminds us to choose to follow the humble ways of Divine Love rather than the greedy, divisive ways of empire. Not an easy choice. Yet, a choice we must make if we claim to be Christian in any way.

Once we’ve chosen to follow Jesus, then we are invited on the path of this Holy Week. We are invited to participate, to remember, to observe all the ways in which those with power continue in the ways of oppression – to the point of violence and death.

Not a whole lot has changed since Jesus’ day. Perhaps, this year, this week, on our way to Easter, our hope will be renewed and we can begin anew centered in God’s abundance.


About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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