Mark 11:10

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! God save him from on high!”


so enthralled are we
with a golden past
we mistake tomorrow
as its extension

not knowing any better
we see only empire
ours theirs ours again
in unending line

condemned to repletion
we roller-coast stock prices
twitter feeds and inner angst
falsely analyzing progress


We have heard a blessing on Jesus as he enters the danger that Jerusalem has become. We now hear a blessing on a still future presence of that which David and his physical descendants were not able to sustain.

We are also led back into further confusions in “Hosanna”. In particular to what a “highest” Hosanna might mean.

Bratcher348 says it bluntly, “In English the phrase ‘Hosanna in the highest!’ is virtually devoid of meaning, since ‘hosanna’ conveys no meaning, other than as a shout of praise, while ‘in the highest’ … may be misunderstood as signifying ‘in the highest degree.’ Eventually Bratcher follows “Lagrange: ‘the acclamation rises as far as heaven, as though to thank God for inaugurating his salvation, and to ask him [for] his help.’”

Barkley268 notes, “[Hosanna] occurs in exactly the same form in 2 Samuel 14:4 and 2 Kings 6:26, where it is used by people seeking for help and protection at the hands of the king. When the people shouted Hosanna it was not a cry of praise to Jesus, which it often sounds like when we quote it. It was a cry to God to break in and save his people now that the Messiah had come.”

Bartimaeus called out to the “Son of David” for mercy. Bartimaeus now joins with others in continuing that mercy or saving (Hosanna) into a presence of the best intention (“kingdom”) of David that will be for all, not just for some. This thanksgiving is also a plea.

Jerusalem is the seat of the current occupier—Rome. To have a “higher Hosanna!” is to call past Rome to a higher power. For everyday mercies (read Everyday Mercies by Evie Yoder Miller) we are thankful, praiseful. Yet, we yearn for them to be more than particular incidents, but a universal presence signified by a larger process of mercy for which we have no other language than “heaven come on earth”, G*D present, Neighb*rs present, and a plea, “Come!”.

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