Hosanna: Save us – from the Greek ὡσαννά (hōsanná) which is from the Hebrew הושיעה־נא, הושיעה נא (hôshia-nā’) related to the Aramaic אושענא (‘ōsha‘nā) meaning “save, rescue, savior.”
Even if we are agnostic, many of us pray this prayer in dire times:
Evan Todd prayed it behind a copy machine at Columbine High School in 1999.
BCW prayed it under a car waiting for the jaws of life.
TBC prayed it waiting for an ambulance after witnessing a six year old struck by a car after leaving his school bus.
Maybe you’ve prayed it in a hospital emergency room or in the wee hours of the night waiting to hear from your kids or watching the ravages of war on television.
It felt like many of us were praying it while marching or watching the March for Our Lives on Saturday. Some of us pray with our feet.
This is the week when Christians – and Jews for that matter – pray again to be saved from the tyrants, from the pharaohs, from the powers threatened by innocence and justice. When people do what’s right, it – ironically – makes some people angry.
I’m reading Mitch Landrieu’s book about the process of removing Confederate statues from New Orleans and it was ugly. Read the book. Although I’ve had mixed feelings about removing such statues I now agree that all Confederate statues should be in a museum.
[Note: I used to believe it would be more educational to keep the statues but add a plaque that said something like, “General Robert E. Lee was commander of the Southern States during the U.S. Civil War. He enslaved many people and “was a more stringent taskmaster than his predecessor” George Custis. Custis had requested that the enslaved people be freed upon his death but General Lee did not free them for five more years. This statues was erected during the Jim Crow era in 1884 to perpetuate the cult of The Lost Cause.]
Anyway . . . Landrieu’s efforts to remove four statues resulted in castigation on social media, personal threats and at least one fire-bombing to the point that nobody with a construction crane would do the job.
Please save us. Save us from our cowardice. Save us from our ignorance. Save us from our personal and institutional racism. This is the week that we pray – once again – as God’s people to save us from the greed that makes us choose profits over people.
If we are so afraid of losing our power that we would threaten innocent people or lie about them, then we certainly need God’s help to allow light to shine on the truth.
We need help. Over the weekend, the God I believe in showed us that help is coming and it was beautiful. And God help those who stand in the way of what is fair and good and holy.
Image source. Also read Landrieu’s book.