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Palm Sunday – Howard Thurman

April 9, 2022

“I wonder what was at work in the mind of Jesus of Nazareth as he jogged along on the back of that faithful donkey.

Perhaps his mind was far away to the scenes of his childhood, feeling the sawdust between his toes in his father’s shop. He may have been remembering the high holy days in the synagogue with his whole body quickened by the echo of the ram’s horn.

Or perhaps he was thinking of his mother, how deeply he loved her and how he wished that there had not been laid upon him this Great Necessity that sent him out on to the open road to proclaim the Truth, leaving her side forever.

It may be that he lived all over again that high moment on the Sabbath when he was handed the scroll and he unrolled it to the great passage from Isaiah, ‘The spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach good news to the poor.’

I wonder what was moving through the mind of the Master as he jogged along on the back of that faithful donkey.”

Sermon preached by Howard Thurman on Palm Sunday April 11, 1976 at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine (Episcopal) in New York City where he was a Honorary Cathedral Canon.

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