In Lowly Pomp, Ride On To Die

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Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes Hosanna cry;
O Savior meek, pursue Thy road
With palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die!
O Christ! Thy triumph now begin
Over captive death and conquered sin.

“Ride On, Ride On in Majesty” (words by H.H. Milman, 1820)

Today is Palm Sunday, a strange day in the Christian calendar. Matthew 21:1-11 tells the story of how Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, and people welcomed him like a king, shouting “Hosanna” and pulling down branches from the palm trees to lay beneath the donkey’s feet. It seems incredible that some of these same people would be screaming for his blood within a few days. Even if you’re not someone who believes or is even familiar with the Christian message, this is a powerful reminder of the duality of humankind. We’re capable of incredible good, and also of unspeakable evil. The hymn I’ve quoted above moves me, just for the solemnity and determination hinted at in the line “In lowly pomp ride on to die.”
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Thanks for your indulgence.