Home Service 3

Palm Sunday 20205th April 2020 – Palm Sunday

This service is to be used in conjunction with Read mark, Learn – 2020-04-05 Read Mark Learn Palm Sunday

Preparing to worship
Let’s use the words of the Psalmist from Psalm 113:1-4 (GNT)
Praise the Lord! You servants of the Lord, praise his name! May his name be praised, now and forever. From the east to the west praise the name of the Lord! The Lord rules over all nations; his glory is above the heavens.

Prayer
Loving Father, as we enter Holy Week, turn our hearts again to Jerusalem, to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that, united with Christ we may one day enter in triumph the city not made by human hands, the new Jerusalem, eternal in the heavens,
where, with you and the Holy Spirit, Christ lives in glory, forever. Amen.

Give Praise
On that first Palm Sunday much praise was offered to Jesus. Crowds welcomed him as royalty. Graham Kendrick’s song gives us an idea of what was happening then.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK6XuYhL7JI

Make way, make way, for Christ the King in splendour arrives.
Fling wide the gates and welcome Him into your lives.
Make way! (Make way!), Make way! (Make way!)
For the King of kings (For the King of kings)
Make way! (Make way!), Make way! (Make way!)
And let His kingdom in.
He comes the broken hearts to heal, the prisoners to free.
The deaf shall hear, the lame shall dance, the blind shall see.
Make way!..
And those who mourn with heavy hearts, who weep and sigh;
With laughter, joy and royal crown He’ll beautify.
Make way!…
We call you now to worship Him as Lord of all.
To have no gods before Him, their thrones must fall!
Make way!…

A prayer of thanks
Thank you, Jesus, that you set your face firmly towards Jerusalem, with a single eye and pure intention, knowing what lay ahead, but never turning aside. Thank you that you went into the heart of evil and pain, along a way that was both terrible and wonderful. Thank you, Lord, for giving yourself for us.
Thank you for…
… receive my thanks, Lord. Amen

Long, long before the events of Palm Sunday took place a prophet had written about how God would care for His people. His words include the following verses: Reading: Zechariah 9: 9-10:
Everyone in Jerusalem, celebrate and shout! Your king has won a victory, and he is coming to you. He is humble and rides on a donkey; he comes on the colt of a donkey. I, the Lord, will take away war chariots and horses from Israel and Jerusalem. Bows that were made for battle will be broken. I will bring peace to nations, and your king will rule from sea to sea. His kingdom will reach from the Euphrates River across the earth.

Give Praise.

We bring our own hosannas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb_4pgLo3Gk
Hosanna [2], Hosanna in the highest [2]
Lord we lift up your name
With our hearts filled with praise
Be exalted Oh Lord our God
Hosanna in the highest.
Glory [2] Glory to the King of Kings [2]
Lord we lift up your name
With our hearts filled with praise
Be exalted Oh Lord our God
Glory to the King of Kings.
Jesus [2] Jesus is the King of Kings [2]
Lord we lift up your name
With our hearts filled with praise
Be exalted Oh Lord our God
Hosanna in the Highest.

Reading: Luke 19:29-44 (as paraphrased by J.B.Phillips)
Then as he (Jesus) was approaching Bethphage and Bethany, near the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent off two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the village just ahead of you, and there you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet ridden. Untie it and bring it here. And if anybody asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say, ‘the Lord needs it.’” So the messengers went off and found things just as he had told them. In fact, as they were untying the colt, the owners did say, “Why are you untying it?” and they replied, “The Lord needs it.” So they brought it to Jesus and, throwing their cloaks upon it, mounted Jesus on its back. Then as he rode along, people spread out their coats on the roadway. And as he approached the city, where the road slopes down from the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of his disciples shouted praises to God for all the marvellous things that they had seen him do. “‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’” they cried. “There is peace in Heaven and glory on high!” There were some Pharisees in the crowd who said to Jesus, “Master, restrain your disciples!” To which he replied, “I tell you that if they kept quiet, the very stones in the road would burst out cheering!” And as he came still nearer to the city, he caught sight of it and wept over it, saying, “Ah, if you only knew, even at this eleventh hour, on what your peace depends—but you cannot see it. The time is coming when your enemies will encircle you with ramparts, surrounding you and hemming
you in on every side. And they will hurl you and all your children to the ground—yes, they will not leave you one stone standing upon another—all because you did not know when God Himself was visiting you!”

Prayer

Jesus, when you rode into Jerusalem, the people waved palms with shouts of  acclamation. Grant that when the shouting dies, we may still walk beside you, even to a cross. Amen.

Speaking aloud or in silence, we bring our petitions to God.
Father we bring to you now ….
…Father, in Your mercy, hear my prayer.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Reflection – Fig Sunday
Palm Sunday has in past times also been known in parts of England, as Fig Sunday and the custom was to give figs as a gift on that day. There appear to be two theories about how this might have come to be.  One is that it comes from the story of Zacchaeus. Luke 19:4 tells us that when he wanted to see Jesus “he…climbed a sycamore-fig tree”. However, this incident took place in Jericho and almost certainly not on the same day that Jesus reached Jerusalem! The other idea is that it comes from the Gospels of Matthew and Mark and their accounts of Jesus’ actions at the start of that dramatic week. Both writers record an incident where Jesus looked for fruit on a fig tree that was in leaf but found none. His reaction was surprising if not shocking. (see Matthew 21:18-22)
This incident may be puzzling to us, but it is thought to have been a warning to those who professed to love God but produced no ‘fruit’ that there are serious consequences for them. He may well have had in mind the Pharisees and others who had rejected Him and were plotting His death. Eating figs on Palm Sunday was a bit like having hot cross buns on Good Friday. Before owning Bibles and being able to read them was widespread, these symbols ‘spoke volumes.’ Perhaps Palm Sunday needs figs. They might remind us not so much of a threat but prompt us to answer Jesus’ call and bear fruit for Him.

The events of Holy Week were captured in the hymn that will be sung in many acts of
worship today. Written by Henry Milman, it speaks of a journey that did not end at
Jerusalem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo5pfl6z6lA
Ride on, ride on in majesty.
Hark all the tribes hosanna cry;
Thine humble beast pursues his road
With palms and scattered garments strowed.
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
O Christ, thy triumphs now begin
O’er captive death and conquered sin.
Ride on, ride on in majesty
the wing- ed squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wondering eyes
to see the approaching sacrifice.
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;
The Father on his sapphire throne
Expects his own anointed Son.
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O God, Thy power, and reign.

A blessing
May the love of the Father, the tenderness of the Son, and the presence of the Spirit, gladden our hearts and bring peace to our souls, this day and all days. Amen.