The autumn sun shone, the harbour sparkled but all eyes were focussed on a large and somewhat different and culturally diverse crowd as it moved along the Circular Quay foreshore in Sydney yesterday.
Waiving palm fronds and singing praises in chorus, Wesley Mission congregation members, supporters, volunteers and staff made known the name of Jesus Christ to curious tourists and family groups, who were quietly asking about the significance of the event.
Visitors and diners may have come to Sydney’s Circular Quay to savour food and the superb autumn weather but it was Wesley Mission’s re-enactment of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday that had thousands of harbour-side patrons downing their forks and grabbing their cameras.
Dressed in impressive period costume, Jesus, played by 25 year-old drama student Brendan Paul, led the procession around the Circular Quay foreshore followed by hundreds of palm-waving followers who praised their King of Kings in song and music as they weaved their way through lively lunch-time crowds.
Samoan harmonies joined with African voices in praise as ‘This the day that the Lord has made’ and ‘Sing Hosanna’ resonated among the large crowds and into the hearts of many.
Wesley Mission Superintendent the Rev Keith Garner said the Palm Sunday event was a significant and important public witness to the people of Sydney.
“When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday the whole city was in uproar and people asked, ‘Who is this?’,” Mr Garner said. “The question remains vital for us today. Many people were asking the same question at Circular Quay. We thank God that we are able to witness to the truth that this was and is the Saviour of the world, who makes the broken new and offers hope to all.”
After proceeding along the eastern foreshore of Circular Quay, the large crowd gathered to sing more songs of praise and heard words of encouragement from Pastor Andy Chin.