[Image: Mary Our Queen Cathedral, 2014, JA Van Devender]
Location: Charles Street, North Baltimore
John 12:13 (NKJV)
13 (they) took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!”
Nothing in the field of physical human endeavor so proclaims the majesty and glory of Jesus Christ as a Cathedral. I suppose that is why I love them so much. I have sat in St. Paul's in London, I have visited the Cathedral in Palma, I have toured Westminster, I have prayed in countless lesser church structures in many states and other countries.
Nothing so sets the tone for our relation to God as the high vaulted ceilings, the darkened room illuminated by the colors of the stain glass windows, the focused eye drawing center piece and altar, and the solemn dignity of the place.
This particular cathedral is Roman Catholic and I will not comment on the gulf between my theology and theirs. But, as this edifice demonstrates, they understand Cathedrals.
Inside, the sanctuary is huge and yet it would be entirely possible to sense the Holy Spirit filling the hearts of each individual kneeling in such a place before His King. I can only imagine how the nuanced melodies and chanting voices of a Gregorian or Polyphonic choir would give it even more sense of the Holy.
A great cathedral represents, to my mind, the physical image of what every Christian life should embody. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our lives are to be characterized as a holy thing, dedicated to our Great King, in whom resides all power, authority and grace. He who gives life to the dead and mercy to sinners and joy to those who mourn. In Him is life and that life eternal. He gives it now and will reap its full reward, its full harvest, in due course, but never-the-less it is entered into now.
Can anything compare to this King... can any person who has grasped the full significance of Palm Sunday not lift their palm branch and shout "Hallelujah!" If we don't speak, perhaps the rocks will.
This King deserves to be praised... not as someone who died, but as someone who died and now lives... to reign in glorious majesty. Who sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty until such time as He delivers His Kingdom to the Father, when the last of His harvesting work is done, and He with surpassing joy joins His adopted brothers and sisters, raised from the dead by His decree, and they enter into the eternal celebration planned from all eternity for them to experience forever.
Palm Sunday is not child's play... it is not just a nice little picture and an opportunity for children to hold palm leaves that threaten the eyes of all their neighbors. Palm Sunday is the Plan of Redemption's glorious consummation and we celebrate it in both anticipation (of its fullness) and presence (in its own going reality).
Here HE is! Our Great King.... who gives life from the dead.... Hallelujah! Amen.