From the time I was little I can remember watching parades at one time or another. My far back memories take me to Missouri when we would always go to parades in downtown Kansas City. It just takes an occasion to throw a parade.
Each time I waited on the sidewalk for the upcoming parade, I could hardly wait for all the excitement that was marching down the street toward me. There would be bands, cowboys, clowns on scooters, clowns juggling and clowns walking on stilts. There were floats, balloons and at times, dogs dressed up in costumes and ponies adorned with plumes and dressed up riders. There were the floats. In my childlike mind, I thought the floats where magical and could even grow colors on their sides! The floats seemed so giant to me. The marching bands had colorful uniforms and shiny instruments that glistened in the sun. It was a magnificent sight for the two little girls who spent their days in the suburbs of Kansas City.
I've attended Memorial Day parades, July 4th parades, Veterans Day parades, Christmas parades, rodeo parades and even Vacation Bible School parades. Mother remembers the newspaper coverage of the parades to celebrate the ending of World War II. Sometimes we have parades for World Series winners and Super Bowl champions. Clovis even had a parade for the BRAC Commission! Think about it: It just takes an occasion to have a parade.
Two thousand years ago there was an occasion for a parade. Most people don't identify Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem as a parade, and but in essence it really was a joyous parade. The occasion was Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem just a few days before his crucifixion. This parade was not his doing and it wasn't his idea. The people just came and followed him and ran ahead of him as he rode the little donkey into Jerusalem. The crowds gathered and grew as they celebrated his presence that day.
The procession included a wide range of people. There were the disciples and the Bethany townspeople and children. I am sure there were poor people and people who had no clout with the government of the day. As Jesus rode the little donkey, the procession of rejoices grew and followed Jesus as he proceeded into Jerusalem. The people knew the scriptures and they knew what Zechariah had prophesized that when their King came, he would come that way. They knew from the prophets just what they should say in acclamation: "Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!"
On that day, there were no bands; there were no flowered floats and certainly no dignitaries. Yet, the people gathered the branches from the palm trees all along the side of the road and waved them and spread them down before him. Some even spread their clothes down in his path and the whole multitude shouted and sang all the way into Jerusalem. They put on a parade fit for a King — because he was one!
As he approached the temple in Jerusalem, the little children sang, "Hosannas to the son of David!" That day has become known as Palm Sunday
Not all people were happy with what the children were saying. There were always the Pharisees who took issue with the praise that the people gave Jesus. But even the hard hearts of the Pharisees could not squelch the festive attitude and excitement that the crowd held that day for Jesus — their Messiah the King!
The account of Jesus riding into Jerusalem may be found in Luke 19:28-40.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: