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PALM SUNDAY 2020

April 4, 2020

PALM SUNDAY 2020

 

Humble and riding on a donkey,

WE GREET YOU

Acclaimed by crowds and carolled by children,

WE CHEER YOU

Moving from the peace of the countryside, to the corridors of power,

WE SALUTE YOU

You are giving the beast of burden a new dignity;

You are giving majesty a new face;

You are giving those who long for redemption a new song to sing.

WITH THEM, WE SHOUT “HOSANNA!”

 

Reading : John 12:12-19

 

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the king of Israel!" John 12:13

 

Palm Sunday is significant because it marks the beginning of Holy Week, that very important day when Jesus began His journey toward the cross.

Yet often, maybe in the midst of busy lives, or in the flurry of activity around the upcoming Easter holiday, the significance of this special day might get missed.

Last year at this time we were bombarded all on fronts by adverts telling what we needed to buy so that we might have the “perfect” Easter. From decorations for our homes to food to put on our tables, etc....etc..............

 

However, with life so changed this year, many of us find ourselves, not caught up in the busyness of life, instead, we find that all the things we usually fill our days with have gone.  And “things” that seemed so important before, now have little meaning.

And so we have time to reflect more deeply this year as we approach Holy Week.

And may this be a source of real blessing and deeper insight as we ponder anew the mystery of the journey to the cross and beyond.

 

In each of the gospels, we find the story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The people cut palm branches and waved them in the air, then laid them out on the ground before Him as He rode into the city. The palm branch is known to represent goodness and victory, symbolic of the final victory He would soon fulfill over sin and death.

But no one knew the full story then. They had no idea what would soon transpire…

They just knew, at that moment, on that day, they longed to give worship and praise to Jesus.

“A massive crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed were shouting: “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

The whole city was “stirred,” they were “shaken.” I can almost imagine the energy of the moment, voices cheering and shouting, people trying to see through the crowds, just who it was that was coming through that day.

As they called out, "Hosanna!" they were hailing Christ as King. That word means "to save now," and though in their own minds they eagerly waited for an earthly king, God had a different plan in store. He was providing a way to set us free…for all eternity.

 

Every year we enter into this week together.

We start the Sunday with fanfare and palms, singing, “Hosanna!” and then the whirlwind of the mess of humanity comes, and all of a sudden Jesus is dead.

Each year, we come to this same story, and each year we bring to it the hurts and joys we’ve just lived through.

The births and deaths, the sufferings and excitements, the pain and the learning that time has taught us since our last Palm Sunday.

Each of us comes with our own hopes and fears, especially this year when our communities and our world face daily change.

But we can take heart, for the same Jesus that rode into Jerusalem all these years ago, comes still, riding into our lives today.

Committed to save us, to heal us,  to comfort us, to set us free from the power of sin and death.

This is the greatness of why we celebrate this week. Because of Christ's ultimate sacrifice and victory, we too are more than conquerors, and set free through Him.

 

Let us pray,

Dear God,

Thank you for sending your Son and paving the way for our lives to be set free through Jesus' death on the cross. Thank you for what this day stands for - the beginning of Holy Week, the start of the journey towards the power of the cross, the victory of the Resurrection, and the rich truth that Jesus truly is our King of Kings.

"Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord..."

We give you praise and honour for your ways are righteous and true. We give you worship for you are holy and just. We will declare that your love stands firm forever. For your loving kindness endures forever.

Thank you that your ways are far greater than our ways, your thoughts far deeper than our thoughts. Thank you that you had a plan to redeem. Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you that your face is towards us, and you hear our prayers, and know our hearts. Help us to stay strong and true to you. Help us not to follow after the voice of the crowds, but to press in close to you, to hear your whispers, and seek after you alone.

We praise you, we bless you Lord! Thank you that you reign supreme and we are more than conquerors through the gift of Christ!

In the Mighty Name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

 1 Ride on, ride on in majesty
as all the crowds 'Hosanna!' cry:
through waving branches slowly ride,
O Saviour, to be crucified.

 

2 Ride on, ride on in majesty,
in lowly pomp ride on to die:
O Christ, your triumph now begin
with captured death, and conquered sin!

 

3 Ride on, ride on in majesty
the angel armies of the sky
look down with sad and wondering eyes
to see the approaching sacrifice.

 

4 Ride on, ride on in majesty,
the last and fiercest foe defy:
the Father on his sapphire throne
awaits his own anointed Son

 

5 Ride on, ride on in majesty,
in lowly pomp ride on to die:
bow your meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O God, your power and reign!

 

 

May the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Be with you this day, and during this Holy Week

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Be with you this day, and during this Holy Week

Amen

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Christian Healing & Retreat Centre

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South Lanarkshire

ML8  5NQ

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