Friday Fish Before Holy Week

                                                                 Image source here

Last Friday there were flying fish but as it's Palm Sunday in a couple of days, the fish have transformed once again.

When I began to post Friday fish during Lent, the diverse images of the fish each week were in a strange way the shape shifters that matched my moods; Lent has been a journey that has involved using all the five senses of sight , hearing, touch, smell and taste and a sixth subtle sense  to perceive the dimension of the unseen world.

The senses of Palm Sunday are always bittersweet as they herald the beginning of Holy Week. 

So what other images are there in the net today ?

This cheeky kingfisher showed a blatant disregard for the rules when it was caught on camera reading a ‘no fishing’ sign with a fish in its beak.
"The rebellious bird swooped down to perch on the sign with a mouth full of fish and appeared to be reading the obvious warning beneath her.
But the bold kingfisher clearly wasn’t worried about flouting the rules and was left unflappable at the sight of the instructions brazenly holding her catch in her beak."
Jesus, the King of Kingfishers, was readily prepared to flout and subvert the rules to harvest the fish for His kingdom. Three years of seeking out the lost sheep,  welcoming the prodigal son and his jealous brother,  eating with tax collectors, prostitutes, the poor, the demoniacs, the outcasts, the dispossessed, the weak, the diseased, the ugly, the forgotten and despised outsiders of his society.
 His love showed us the nature of his power and signified the type of kingdom he was ruler of, one where the dead are raised, hungry crowds are fed, forgiveness is offered to the unforgivable, love is shown to the unlovable.

 In the year 30, the Roman Governor of Judea and Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor assigned to Judea and Jerusalem. These were volatile times, with constant threats of uprisings and brutal repressions from the powerful military.
On Palm Sunday, Pilate would have been at the head of a column of a cavalry of soldiers entering Jerusalem for Passover, an “independence day” festival that celebrated the Jewish people’s liberation from an earlier empire.

This highly visible and intimidating display of Roman Imperial power was intended to impress the people with a visual display of imperial power: cavalry on horses, foot soldiers, leather armour, helmets, weapons, banners, golden eagles mounted on poles, sun glinting on metal and gold.

Into all of this formidable arena comes the King of Kingfishers in his own natural plumage of resplendent colours of blue and gold.  

(ByPalm Sunday he will be transformed from Kingfisher to a man on a donkey in a seamless garment that will be torn into shreds before the week is out.)

Jesus knew the warning signs as he entered the gates of Jerusalem that Palm Sunday.

There are millions of us fish around the world who will follow in His slipstream over two thousand years later, to enact the scenes in the streets of Jerusalem that day in a city occupied by the forces of the Roman Empire, where Pharisees lurked on street corners, rule books in hand, ready to hoist their own circumscribed versions of No fishing signs at the doors of the house of God.

 In our hearts, just as in his own disciples that day, there beats an alternative vision , God’s vision for human community.
 In his book A Season For The Spirit, Martin. L. Smith writes :  Gradually, as we come to love the Spirit of God, we become aware of a growing delight in diversity, and at the same time a growing passion for unity." ( I wonder at that when I look around the exchanges and bitter feuds in the Christian religions these days.)  
He says : " The Creator Spirit is the source of the infinite variety in creation, and the life which holds everything together in one. In the new creation in Christ which is underway, the Spirit is the source of the varieties of gifts, service, work and the bond which integrates us into One Body. We cannot walk int the Spirit and not glory in the holiness of difference, distinctions, variety, complementarity, uniqueness. We cannot love the Spirit without being gripped by the truth of the unity of all in the Spirit.  
This makes life wonderful, but uncomfortable...... we find ourselves angered and saddened more and more by the world's attempts to suppress diversity and impose uniformity. We become horrified at the way hundreds of species of creatures are being annihilated because of the lust for profit. We become disgusted by the imperialism of the powerful nations and corporations which care next to nothing for the cultural integrity, the languages and heritage of little nations and tribes. 
We are nauseated by the manipulation of mass media who indoctrinate the public  into stock responses and tastes. We lose patience with the prejudices that fuel hatreds and disunity. We are excruciated  by jingoism and all the various forms of domination of one group over another.  
Our hearts ache for the weaving of human lives into community. The vision of the interdependence and the unity of all in God makes us cry out in outrage at the pronouncements of politicians and pundits which are based on the assumption that life is intrinsically competitive, a race to seize what others will take if we do not grab first. "
Palm Sunday is a baffling day because I know that my shouts of Hosanna and my courageous participation in laying carpets of palm leaves will so readily be supplanted into the scene of the Garden of Gethsemane, into a stream of lanterns searching to arrest Jesus, to triple denials and rejection of him, to cries of Crucify Him.


                                                                      Image source here

 That hard road to the cross has to be travelled next week.

To stand and look at the cross is hard, even from a distance and yet that distance has to be broached as it is the only one that can take me right into the heart of Christ and the Paschal mystery of what human life and death is all about.

The rich liturgy and services of Holy Week hopefully will allow me the courage to move ever closer to the foot of the cross until I can kneel before it and kiss the feet of Jesus.

Related articles
Fine one here explaining the significance of the Roman entry into Jerusalem contrasted with Christ's entry on  a donkey

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