First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

Hope and the Greening of the Soul

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the holy GPS: the God Positioning System.

Rev. Dr. Pat Kriss(Posted March 22, 2024)

"Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf of springtime."  - Martin Luther

There are only a few events during the church year that, along with the music and words of wisdom that we all offer in prayer, ALSO include a treat for our noses. One of them is Palm Sunday. This Sunday.

The scent of fresh cut palms for those who attend church in person that day produce a kind of “greening” in the soul. Even if it’s still chilly outside, Palm Sunday tells us that our world is changing. It’s becoming more compatible with new growth, outside in the yard but also inside of us, even with all the uncertainties of the tumultuous times we live in.

Hope Comes Through the Gates

Those were the times for all those people in Jerusalem around 30 AD, who lined the streets of Jerusalem just inside the city gates during Passover week. It was here that the parades began, mostly of powerful people. Through these gates came awesome things. Hopeful things. Alarming things. It was a place for the people to bring their hopes, too. I have to wonder how different those hopes were among the people watching this new parade.

Some were hoping for the entry of a new political leader who could wrest the Israelite people from the talons of all-powerful Imperial Rome.

Others had heard that a new spiritual genius was about to take power away from the Temple Sanhedrin.

And the spies of this new arrival who would make sure He would be prevented from upsetting the status quo of power.

Yet when the gate opened, there wasn’t the usual imperial chariot led by a brace of snorting Arabian stallions, and no phalanx of sword-wielding Praetorian Guards on each side.

Hope Rode a Donkey

No. When that gate opened, what they saw was just a man in his 30’s. Astride on a little donkey. His long legs skimming the ground.

We can almost imagine a few chuckles and outright laughs as Jesus entered Jerusalem, intentionally in a humble way. Either way, cheering people were eager to hope in Him, no matter who this man was. To tamp down the dust of this well-travelled road, the people tore branches from the trees. and even took their most prized personal possession – their cloak – and spread it before the little donkey. And He continued on.

Hope’s Ancient GPS

We modern folk identify this spot as the beginning of the holy GPS: the God Positioning System. Charted out, this is the initial part of Jesus’ final journey that began on a dusty Sunday and will end Friday atop the bloody hill, Golgotha, where Rome disposed of its “problems.” It is on the far end of this journey that all the sins of people will be washed away in the torrent of blood and tears running down that dark hill.

And then the next ultimate GPS journey will begin: from death to eternal life on Easter morning. Join us to start that journey this Sunday, amid the greening smells of Spring, and new hope.


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday Closed

Thrift Shop Hours:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.


Follow Us!