Sunday, April 5, 2009

Entry into Jerusalem

This is Duccio's Entry into Jerusalem. It's a 14th century painting, tempura on wood. I love medieval art because it has funky perspective and an almost contemporary sense of spatial composition. And I also love that so much of the surviving art from that period features sacred themes.

Palm Sunday has always been a puzzlement to me. I'm not quite sure why we celebrate it. Oh, I know the historical account. Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey and the population, swollen with visitors who were there to celebrate Passover, turned out in droves to cheer and wave palm branches. They shouted "Hosanna", which means 'save us,' delirious in their joy.

And in less than a week, the same people clamored for His death.

This story illustrates a sad fact about us. We want what we want when we want it. And how we want it. Save us, God, but save us in the manner we want. And tromp the Romans while You're at it. Smite the "they" while You're busy saving "us."

But God always has something different in mind.

And His different is always far deeper, higher, wiser and more gracious than we can comprehend.

If you are not a Christian, please know that I intend no insult to your beliefs in this post. I view my blog as a place to share what I'm doing and thinking about. I'm a Christian (Yes, it's possible to be a Christian and write "ribald, yet classy" historical romance!) and so I'm thinking about the events of Holy Week.

Feel free to share your thoughts right back.

4 comments:

Rachel said...

Emily
I am happy you wrote this.
This week is an important week for both Christians and Jews. I would like to hear the opinions of others on this blog. I know, the rules of politeness declare that we shouldn't discuss religion, but I think when we do we found more common ground than we thought we would.
Rachel

EmilyBryan said...

When I'm working on my characters, part of what I have to figure out is what their belief system is and how it impacts their view of the world. If it's important to figure out in order to make fictional characters more real, how much more important is it for real people to think about faith (or lack of it) for themselves?

Respect for others is part of all major belief systems. As long as we keep that in mind, why shouldn't we feel free to share the spiritual aspects of our life?

I hope all my readers and friends feel my blog is a "safe" place to express themselves.

LuAnn said...

What a great piece of art history!

EmilyBryan said...

Isn't it? There's an almost Chagall-esque disregard for gravity. The little donkey's hooves seem to float. And the wall we are probably not meant to be able to see over stretches conveniently beneath the throng's feet. I wonder why the artist included a door in the wall. To invite us into the scene?