Palm Sunday – Entry into Jerusalem
We cannot share this service with you as normal at Morning Worship but we invite you to read through what we had planned. We have included the hymns that we have chosen so you can read though and reflect on the words.
We look forward to the time when we will all be back together in person, to “praise God with heart and life and voice”.
Ruth, Margaret, Mike and Nigel.
PRAYER OF APPROACH
Lord Jesus Christ,
You entered Jerusalem as a king, yet riding on a lowly donkey.
We praise you with heart and life and voice.
With our lives truly turned towards you.
HYMN – 384 Make Way.
For the times we slow to follow the example of Christ.
Lord, have mercy.
For the times we fail to be known as Christ’s disciples.
Christ, have mercy.
For the times we fail to walk the way of the cross.
Lord, have mercy.
In Christ, God answers us and sets us free!
In Christ, we are forgiven!
READING – Zechariah 9:9-10
Zion’s Coming King
9 Rejoice, O people of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you.
He is righteous and victorious,
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.
10 I will remove the battle chariots from Israel
and the warhorses from Jerusalem.
I will destroy all the weapons used in battle,
and your king will bring peace to the nations.
His realm will stretch from sea to sea
and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
HYMN – 189 Hosanna.
READING – John 12: 12 – 19
Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
12 The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors 13 took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: 15 “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.” 16 His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.
17 Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it. 18 That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign. 19 Then the Pharisees said to each other, “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him!”
HYMN – 400 My song is love unknown.
We are at the start of Passion Week. From Palm Sunday today and through Holy Week, we have the last days of Jesus’s life before His death on the cross. Then we have the celebration of the Resurrection next Sunday.
Palm Sunday is the celebration of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem – a time of popularity and praise. The crowd had gathered to meet Jesus and praise God that their King had come. Yet five days later, Jesus would be betrayed and the same crowd would shout for him to be crucified.
Everyone who lined that street that day was there for different reasons and expectations. Some thought Jesus had come to overthrow the Romans. Others were there following Jesus because of His miracles. The Pharisees were there to find ways to stop Jesus. All these people would find a very different outcome to the one they expected. Even the disciples who had faith in Jesus as the Son of God did not fully understand the meaning of what they were experiencing on that day or the days that followed. But for us today, the meaning and significance of the events of Palm Sunday and Holy Week are laid out in the Gospels. We know and have comfort and reassurance from the Gospels. Jesus had come as the light of the world – so that everyone who believes in Him will not remain in darkness.
We live in a time of change and some uncertainty – especially at the moment with Covid-19. The disciples did not understand or know where Jesus was leading them, during a week that would be uncertain and tumultuous to them. But they had faith to follow Jesus. But we have the whole picture of who Jesus is from the Gospels. Though faith in Him we will be able to navigate our way through the times of change and uncertainty ahead. We have a spiritual light given to us by Christ to guide us.
HYMN – 485 Ride on ride on in Majesty.
Lord, help us to reflect on the events of Palm Sunday and Jesus coming into Jerusalem to finish his mission. Lord, help us to reflect on the events of Holy Week as we move toward the celebration of Easter as believers in the power of Christ to touch and guide our lives today.
Lord, we thank you that Christ is with us each day.
Work in us and through us, allow your spirit to fill us to overflowing with your love for you and for each other, especially at this time.
Help us to cherish expectation and wonder, and to reject the fear of uncertainty.
By the grace and power of your Holy Spirit.
At this time we pray especially for those who are affected by Covid 19: people who are no longer working, people who are isolated and alone, those who are vulnerable, the people that are sick – not just those suffering with the virus but those with other illness who may be worried for their future.
We pray for the people who have lost loved ones at this time.
We pray for those working to care for the sick and those working to sustain our communities.
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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
HYMN – 480 Rejoice!
As we enter Holy Week and gather at your house of prayer,
turn our hearts again to Jerusalem,
to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
That, united with Christ and all the faithful,
we may one day enter in triumph
the city not made by human hands, but
the new Jerusalem, eternal in the heavens,
where, with you and the Holy Spirit,
Christ lives in glory forever.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the love of God,
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore.