Last week I was trying to think of what songs to lead for Palm Sunday at church and naturally started thinking through all of the “Hosanna” repertoire. I started to reflect on the 80’s number, “Hosanna Hosanna Hosanna in the highest…Lord we lift up Your name with hearts full of praise. Be exalted, oh Lord our God. Hosanna in the highest” and I was reminded of the first time I remember hearing it and the realized it’s an interesting and befitting story.
The first time I heard this song was the German version, “Hosanna in der Höhe“. I remember thinking how cool it was that in German, “Hosanna” was the same and that the rest of the line sounded funny, but cool. I was 8. My big brother had just returned from a trip to East Germany. He, with a group of teenagers plus a couple of group leaders, managed to get into East Germany and I remember him telling me that they brought a keyboard to a secret group of Christians that were meeting.
The other day when I was remembering this, I started to imagine a windowless room full of East Germans singing with hearts full of praise and hopeful that the King would come and rescue them from a dark, difficult and oppressive time. I started to think about Jesus riding his donkey into Jerusalem before crowds of Jews so weary and longing for the promised King to rescue them from the oppression of the Romans. The parallels were obvious and my heart did a little leap with the realization that in my lifetime, many believer’s prayers were answered and that I possess a piece of that infamous dividing wall that was brought down.
My thoughts turned to “far-off” lands today where I imagine there to be secret churches praying with hearts full of praise and with expectant hope of the intervention of the just and good King. Oh that we would join with them more in prayer and solidarity, rejoicing that the King has come and praying that His kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven. Hosanna.