Psalm 51 does not let any of us off the hook—not the progressives, the evangelicals, or the feel-good agnostics.
When I was a child, I loved Palm Sunday because we got to act out the biblical version of a ticker-tape parade. Later I learned of the ephemeral quality of stardom and parades and decided that Palm Sunday and Passion Week belong together. As a pastor, I have accepted the dismal fact that most of our people skip Thursday, Friday and Saturday, slipping from parade pandemonium to Easter ecstasy with none of the suffering and pain.
In the synoptic accounts of the cleansing of the temple, Jesus is being provocative. In John, he is provoked.
Look, people are sinking under the waters. Here in this wilderness, people are perishing.