A minister was honored for his service in Europe behind the Iron Curtain.  At the reception, the applause was deafening, the ovation standing, the lights brightening.  As he strode across the stage to accept his award, it occurred to him that he had much in common with a common pack animal.  Two thousand years ago, a donkey hoofed it into the Holy City and the crowds shouted, “Hosanna in the Highest!”  The donkey must have thought the adulation, the ticker tape parade, the pomp and circumstance… well, it’s all for me. (World Methodism paraphrased story)

Matthew 21:1-11 
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.”  This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,  “Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”  The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;  they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”  When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The crowds were shouting “Hosanna,” which means “save us.”  What did they need saving from? 
Congregational response: 
The Roman occupation, the Empire’s oppression, the stiff arm of violence and murder.
Their expectations of Jesus, that we would arrive on a stallion with sword and shield. 
That Jesus was only a Savior for the Israelites, not the whole world.  
From ourselves.  
Adam, at least for a breath, must have thought he created himself; the Israelites, that they multiplied the manna; Moses, that he parted the Red Sea; Jairus, that he raised his daughter; Peter, that he rebuked the storm.  It is easy to get confused, especially during Holy Week.  Confused by atonement theories about the crucifixion on Good Friday, confused about scientific proofs of the resurrection on Easter Sunday, confused about exactly who we are.  
Just know this bandy legged beasts: faith is making audible the deepest needs that we are incapable of meeting ourselves.  And Church is the parade of life where we gather to take our coats off, to lay our branches down, to shout for a lifetime… save us from our grandiose delusions, save us from our messianic expectations, save us from our idolatrous confusions.  Save us from ourselves to become ourselves.   
On a youth Sunday, a fifteen year old girl stepped into the pulpit wearing a gold paper Burger King crown.  To conclude her sermon, she walked over to the altar and took it off, setting it at the foot of the cross saying, “I have to take off my crown for Jesus to put his on.”