Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. I was feeling quite depressed in the morning – having been under a lot of stress during the past few days. In our church we have the tradition of going around the church singing Hosanna on Palm Sundays. I remember telling my wife “I don’t want to go to Church today. I am not in a mood to sing Hosanna”. My understanding of Hosanna was that it was purely ‘a declaration of praise’ and I was in too grumpy a mood to sing praises. While I did ‘know’ that one should praise God in all situations, I was feeling reluctant to do so. Nevertheless (by the Grace of God!), I did end up going to the Church.

During the sermon, the priest talked about the origins and meanings of the word Hosanna. It was quite a revelation for me. While the Greek word ‘Hosanna’ is indeed the cry of praise or adoration shouted on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (“Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” – Matthew 21:9), the Hebrew word ‘Hoshana’ is a cry for salvation. ‘Hoshana’ means “please save” or “save now”. So Hosanna/Hoshana is both a cry of praise and a cry for salvation at the same time! So singing Hoshana was precisely the right thing to do for me (who was torn between the requirement to sing praises and the reluctance to do so because of the state of mind – a depressed mind crying out for salvation) at that time. I am amazed at how perfectly and beautifully God can engineer situations!!! Thank God I went to Church that day!

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