Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

This Lenten Season, I have been reading Bearing the Cross- Devotions on Albrech Durer's Small Passion.  This book was written by Carolyn Brinkley, a Lutheran Deaconess, and member at the congregation where I grew up - Bethlehem Lutheran, Ossian, Indiana.  Her deep devotional thoughts resonated with my mother, Katherine.  It is easy to see why they were dear friends.

Today on Palm Sunday, I will share with you this wood cut from this body of work, originally published in 1511, 
five hundred years ago........

Albrecht Durer's - Christ's Entry into Jerusalem- from the Small Passion- 1511

These are from a collection of 37 prints, printed six years before the Reformation, and were bound in a pocket devotional with medieval religious poetry.

Two very different groups of people are portrayed here in this small look at the Palm Sunday story.  The Hosanna singing disciples on the left, waving palm branches. On the right is the finger pointing Pharisee, plotting to kill.

Brinkley's study of the woodcut points out the Trinitarian nimbus, the light at Christ's head in the form of a cross. Yet His face is dark as He approaches the gates of Jerusalem. As we begin our journey into Holy Week, we might want to stay with the palm waving parade rather than the funeral procession to Calvary.

These works are amazing when you consider
 the scale of the woodcuts. 
 These are 4 by 6 inch size. Close to the size of this photo.
They were meant to be a
 pocket size devotion for the common people.

His work depicts a deep knowledge of Scripture, 
an understanding of the church theology in his time,
 and a love and appreciation
 of the writings of  his contemporary, Martin Luther. 

As we enter this Holy Week, 
it is a worthwhile example for us to "carry about"
 the writings and visuals
 that help us to see ourselves in the story of Christ's passion.

May we enter this week with these words:

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O God, Thy Pow'r and reign.

Lutheran Service Book- Hymn 441, verse 5.

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