And on this Palm Sunday I was reminded of another group of applauders, those that enthusiastically ushered the entrance of Christ into the city of Jerusalem. But did they know what were they applauding for? Like so many of us today, they were looking for an answer, a hero, a salvation from their current circumstances. Indeed Jesus possessed these attributes, but not in the form that ultimately pleased crowds. Much like our NHS heroes of today, his salvation would involve sacrifice, 'greater love has no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friends'. There was no quick fix solution on offer either: 'if you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes' said Jesus to his expectant onlookers.
So what was it? What was it Jesus, that would have brought them peace? I am inclined to think that it was to choose the way of a servant, to love their neighbour and give a chance to the hopeless, to become caretakers of each other and the world, to recognise Christ in their fragility instead of fighting for dominance.
So yes, I do applaud the health service and believe that these humble public servants are worthy of our upmost thanks and respect ... And I applaud the Christ and invite him to come ... But when the noise of the clapping dies down, will I have the heart to join Him and those servants, who on their bleeding knees, are paving the way for a new world?