This is the sermon I preached a few days ago, Palm Sunday 2015. It’s rare that I preach a narrative sermon, and this sermon is narrative in the sense that it is an extended narrated story. (As opposed to a sermon that has a narrative structure but is not itself a story.) As I explain in the beginning of the sermon, the idea is to treat the Triumphal Entry as an enacted parable, complete with the “surprise ending” that usually accompanies a parable — and in which the most likely meaning is found!
So the story is told from the perspective of a bystander at the parade, and the surprise ending is their reaction to the donkey. There is a possible ending written at the end of the sermon, a kind of application paragraph that brings home the “point” of the story. But when I preached this I didn’t use that ending. I just stopped at the end of the story and sat down — in the style of Fred Craddock.
In talking with colleagues, it seems that many pastors have mixed feelings about preaching on Palm Sunday. It feels like you’re traveling over the same ground year after year. I suppose this was my way of dealing with the same feeling, by changing the style of the sermon and hopefully coming at it from a new angle.