Palm Sunday

Hosanna! Palm Sunday 2015

Palms and BranchesYearly Rhythm

29 March 2015
Palm Sunday, Year B,
Colours: Red or Purple

At the end of Lent:
“Let us enter the city with God today, let us sing Hosannas to our king, to the Son of God, riding on a donkey. With shepherds and prostitutes, with the blind and the leper, with the abandoned and the oppressed, let us shout for joy at Christ’s coming and follow the One who welcomes the sinner and dines with the outcast. Let us touch and see as God draws near, riding in triumph towards the Cross.” (Christine Sine)

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

Lectionary Readings for this week (thanks to www.gbod.org) This is the sixth Sunday in Lent (Palm Sunday.)

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29    This is the processional psalm traditionally used on this day. As some may note, this psalm also provides the basis of the “Benedictus” (“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”) and the “Hosannas” in the Great Thanksgiving.

Philippians 2:5-11 The way of Jesus Christ — emptying himself, taking the form of a servant, accepting death on a Roman crucifix — is to be the way of life for the people who bear his name.

Mark 11:1-11. Mark’s story of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. Note that in this version, no one waves palms. In fact, there are no palms at all. Instead we see the entourage with Jesus placing cloaks and “leafy branches” in front of Jesus’ colt as he makes his way through Jerusalem, sort of an impromptu, first-century “red carpet” treatment.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: God has chosen you and made you his holy people.  Colossians 3:12

Confession: “When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that you Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.  Matthew 11:25”.   This week in our confessions we examine our relationship with our fellow human beings. Each day we will look at a specific sin that may form a barrier between others and ourselves.  You are invited to allow God’s Spirit to examine your life and then come to God to begin or continue the process of healing. Today’s barrier: Jealousy.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Each day reflect on the words of this line of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Then think of our world, personal, local, international and pray as the Lord prompts you.

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Dedication: “And I will be with you always…” (The words of Christ: Matthew 28:20)  As you go through the day that is ahead of you know this truth: God is with you.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: I will praise the Lord at all times; his praise is always on my lips.  Psalm 34:1

Confession: “When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that you Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.  Matthew 11:25”.   This week in our confessions we examine our relationship with our fellow human beings. Each day we will look at a specific sin that may form a barrier between others and ourselves.  You are invited to allow God’s Spirit to examine you life and them come to God to begin or continue the process of healing. Today’s barrier: Pride.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day reflect on the words of this line of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Then think of our world, personal, local, international and pray as the Lord prompts you.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “And I will be with you always…” (The words of Christ: Matthew 28:20)  As you go through the day that is ahead of you know this truth: God is with you.

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: My whole being praises the Lord. Psalm 34:2

Confession: “When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that you Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.  Matthew 11:25”.   This week in our confessions we examine our relationship with our fellow human beings. Each day we will look at a specific sin that may form a barrier between others and ourselves.  You are invited to allow God’s Spirit to examine you life and them come to God to begin or continue the process of healing. Today’s barrier: Fear.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day reflect on the words of this line of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Then think of our world, personal, local, international and pray as the Lord prompts you.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “And I will be with you always…” (The words of Christ: Matthew 28:20)  As you go through the day that is ahead of you know this truth: God is with you.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?  Where can I run from you?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there.  If I lie down in the grave, you are there.  Psalm 139:7-8

Confession:  “When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that you Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.  Matthew 11:25”.   This week in our confessions we examine our relationship with our fellow human beings. Each day we will look at a specific sin that may form a barrier between others and ourselves.  You are invited to allow God’s Spirit to examine you life and them come to God to begin or continue the process of healing. Today’s barrier: Arrogance.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day reflect on the words of this line of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Then think of our world, personal, local, international and pray as the Lord prompts you.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “And I will be with you always…” (The words of Christ: Matthew 28:20)  As you go through the day that is ahead of you know this truth: God is with you.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: You have been saved by God’s grace. Ephesians 2:5

Confession: “When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that you Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.  Matthew 11:25”.   This week in our confessions we examine our relationship with our fellow human beings. Each day we will look at a specific sin that may form a barrier between others and ourselves.  You are invited to allow God’s Spirit to examine you life and them come to God to begin or continue the process of healing. Today’s barrier: Overly independent.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day reflect on the words of this line of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Then think of our world, personal, local, international and pray as the Lord prompts you.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “And I will be with you always…” (The words of Christ: Matthew 28:20)  As you go through the day that is ahead of you know this truth: God is with you.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: All living things look to you for food, and you give it to them at the right time.  You open your hand, and you satisfy all living things. Psalm 145:15-16

Confession: “When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that you Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.  Matthew 11:25”.   This week in our confessions we examine our relationship with our fellow human beings. Each day we will look at a specific sin that may form a barrier between others and ourselves.  You are invited to allow God’s Spirit to examine you life and them come to God to begin or continue the process of healing. Today’s barrier: Anger.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day reflect on the words of this line of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Then think of our world, personal, local, international and pray as the Lord prompts you.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “And I will be with you always…” (The words of Christ: Matthew 28:20)  As you go through the day that is ahead of you know this truth: God is with you.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Then I heard all creatures in heaven and earth and under the earth and in the sea saying: “To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power forever and ever.”  Revelation 5:13

Confession: “When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that you Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.  Matthew 11:25”.   This week in our confessions we examine our relationship with our fellow human beings. Each day we will look at a specific sin that may form a barrier between others and ourselves.  You are invited to allow God’s Spirit to examine you life and them come to God to begin or continue the process of healing. Today’s barrier: Being Judgemental.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day reflect on the words of this line of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Then think of our world, personal, local, international and pray as the Lord prompts you.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “And I will be with you always…” (The words of Christ: Matthew 28:20)  As you go through the day that is ahead of you know this truth: God is with you.

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the stories of God’s people.

Prayers to help you apply the readings: (Notes in italics are with thanks to www.gbod.org.)

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29   This is the processional psalm traditionally used on this day. As some may note, this psalm also provides the basis of the “Benedictus” (“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”) and the “Hosannas” in the Great Thanksgiving.

Prayer

(based on Psalm 118:19-24)

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter, and give thanks to the Lord.
We will give You thanks, for You have answered us;
You have become our salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Christine Longhurst – http://re-worship.blogspot.ca

Philippians 2:5-11 The way of Jesus Christ — emptying himself, taking the form of a servant, accepting death on a Roman crucifix — is to be the way of life for the people who bear his name.

Jesus is Lord

(based on Philippians 2:5-11)

(gradually getting quieter)

Equal with God:
Jesus is Lord
Emptied himself:
Jesus is Lord
Came as a slave:
Jesus is Lord
Found as a man:
Jesus is Lord
Humbly obeyed:
Jesus is Lord
Went to his death:
Jesus is Lord
Death on a cross:
Jesus is Lord

(getting louder)

God raised him up:
Jesus is Lord
Gave him the name:
Jesus is Lord
Higher than all:
Jesus is Lord
Every knee bow:
Jesus is Lord
All tongues confess:
Jesus is Lord

Posted on the EngageWorship.org website. Text by Michael Perry
© The Jubilate Group (admin. Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL  60188)

Mark 11:1-11. Mark’s story of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. Note that in this version, no one waves palms. In fact, there are no palms at all. Instead we see the entourage with Jesus placing cloaks and “leafy branches” in front of Jesus’ colt as he makes his way through Jerusalem, sort of an impromptu, first-century “red carpet” treatment.

Hold on to the Hosannas

(inspired by the events in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11,

Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-19)

Let us stay with the Hosannas for a while
Let us let them keep on ringing in our ears
Hosanna!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord
Instead of rushing on to hear the cries
that came later in the week
Let us stay with the Hosannas
Maybe once we have heard those
in a new way
we will be ready
to make the rest of the journey
A journey that was hastened
and given new purpose
by those Hosannas
For those Hosannas were not
simply the innocent cries
of palm branch waving children
Those Hosannas were the war cries of adults
tired of the oppression
of occupying forces
Those hosannas
were the hopeful cries
of a nation seeking liberation.
Those Hosannas
were an investment of hope
in one they thought would deliver.
Those Hosannas
that we have sanitized over the years
rang out in clear insurrection
sealing the fate
of one who rode on a donkey.
so, let us stay with the Hosannas
Let us wrest them from the lips of children
and allow them to ring in our ears
and spew from our mouths
as a call to action
a call to justice
a call to love.
Let us stay with the Hosannas
even as we journey
with the Christ
who carried those Hosannas
all the way to the cross
and ensured their fulfillment
as the justice and love of God.
Let us stay with the Hosannas.

— written by Rev. E. Crumlish of Castlehill Church, Ayr.
Posted on the Church of Scotland’s excellent Starters for Sunday website.

Palm Sunday: He is our King!

palm tree branchYearly Rhythm

13 April 2014
Palm Sunday, Year A.
Colour: Scarlet/Red/Purple

“On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection. For many Christian churches, Palm Sunday, often referred to as “Passion Sunday,” marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday.”

Image Source

 Daily Rhythm

 Devotional Diary   7 – 13 April 2014

A resource for the Daily Rhythm of Worship, using the Lectionary Readings

Download the PDF here.

 See “Weekly Rhythm” for commentary and questions about the readings.
Also “Praying the lectionary Readings”  for prayers based on the readings.

Readings for Sunday 13 April 2014: Palm Sunday

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (Palms liturgy)
Philippians 2:5-11  The way of Jesus Christ — emptying himself, taking the form of a servant, dying
Matthew 21: 1-11 (Palms liturgy)  Matthew’s narrative of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we think of a way in which Christ’s kingship is different to any other kingship.  Then we thank Christ that he is our unique King. Today: Humble, riding on a donkey.

Confession: Lord we so often proclaim your kingly reign in our lives yet continue to live by “earthly kingdom” rules.  This week bring the values you live by under the God’s scrutiny and let him fill you with heavenly values. Focus for today: Competition/co-operation.

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional guide.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to make a difference to this world and our lives.  This week picture Jesus entering into situations of need and see him making a difference. Today’s focus: loneliness

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

                Dedication: Lord, you are a unique King, riding on a donkey, hanging on a cross; lead me in your unique ways.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we think of a way in which Christ kingship is different to any other kingship.  Then we thank Christ that he is our unique King. Today: I have come not to be served, but to serve.

Confession: Lord we so often proclaim your kingly reign in our lives but yet continue to live by “earthly kingdom” rules.  This week bring the values you live by under the God’s scrutiny and let him fill you with heavenly values. Focus for today: All or nothing/knowing your calling or role.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to make a difference to this world and our lives.  This week picture Jesus entering into situations of need and see him making a difference. Today’s focus: corruption

Personal Prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, you are a unique King, riding on a donkey, hanging on a cross; lead me in your unique ways.

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Each day we think of a way in which Christ kingship is different to any other kingship.  Then we thank Christ that he is our unique King.  Today: He gives his life as a ransom for many.

Confession: Lord we so often proclaim your kingly reign in our lives but yet continue to live by “earthly kingdom” rules.  This week bring the values you live by under the God’s scrutiny and let him fill you with heavenly values. Focus for today: Materialism/contentment.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to make a difference to this world and our lives.  This week picture Jesus entering into situations of need and see him making a difference. Today’s focus: hurt and pain.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, you are a unique King, riding on a donkey, hanging on a cross; lead me in your unique ways.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we think of a way in which Christ kingship is different to any other kingship.  Then we thank Christ that he is our unique King.  Today: This is my body, given for you.  This is my blood, poured out for you.

Confession: Lord we so often proclaim your kingly reign in our lives but yet continue to live by “earthly kingdom” rules.  This week bring the values you live by under the God’s scrutiny and let him fill you with heavenly values. Focus for today: I did it my way/Grace and mercy.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to make a difference to this world and our lives.  This week picture Jesus entering into situations of need and see him making a difference. Today’s focus: meaningless/directionless

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, you are a unique King, riding on a donkey, hanging on a cross; lead me in your unique ways.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we think of a way in which Christ kingship is different to any other kingship.  Then we thank Christ that he is our unique King. Today: …and he washed their feet.

Confession: Lord we so often proclaim your kingly reign in our lives but yet continue to live by “earthly kingdom” rules.  This week bring the values you live by under the God’s scrutiny and let him fill you with heavenly values. Focus for today: I can only rely on myself/body of Christ

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to make a difference to this world and our lives.  This week picture Jesus entering into situations of need and see him making a difference. Today’s focus: anger/violence

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, you are a unique King, riding on a donkey, hanging on a cross; lead me in your unique ways.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we think of a way in which Christ kingship is different to any other kingship.  Then we thank Christ that he is our unique King. Today: I have come that you might have life…

Confession: Lord we so often proclaim your kingly reign in our lives but yet continue to live by “earthly kingdom” rules.  This week bring the values you live by under the God’s scrutiny and let him fill you with heavenly values. Focus for today:  My next purchase will bring happiness/to give is more blessed than to receive.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to make a difference to this world and our lives.  This week picture Jesus entering into situations of need and see him making a difference. Today’s focus: your own life.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, you are a unique King, riding on a donkey, hanging on a cross; lead me in your unique ways.

 Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we think of a way in which Christ kingship is different to any other kingship.  Then we thank Christ that he is our unique King. Today: Hosanna, hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Confession: Lord we so often proclaim your kingly reign in our lives but yet continue to live by “earthly kingdom” rules.  This week bring the values you live by under the God’s scrutiny and let him fill you with heavenly values. Focus for today:  Fear for the future/trusting in God.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to make a difference to this world and our lives.  This week picture Jesus entering into situations of need and see him making a difference. Today’s focus: worship services

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, you are a unique King, riding on a donkey, hanging on a cross; lead me in your unique ways.

 Weekly Rhythm

Sunday 13 April 2014

Commentary and questions about the lectionary readings.

Download the PDF here.

 Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (Palms liturgy)

Salvation comes about because of the stone the builders rejected. This stone has become the capstone of the new gates of the temple in Jerusalem.  He is the Blessed One who comes in the name of the Lord.  Though the psalm itself does not identify who this ‘One’ is, the larger context of the Psalm makes it clear that he is the Promised Seed  of the house of David, the Messiah.  It is for this reason that this psalm is frequently alluded to in the New Testament.   (NIV Compact Bible Commentary, John H Sailhammer, Zondervan.)

Philippians 2:5-11The way of Jesus Christ — emptying himself, taking the form of a servant, dying.

How does this picture of Christ relate to him riding into Jerusalem as he does in the Gospel Passage?

Matthew 21: 1-11 (Palms liturgy) Matthew’s narrative of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

Marcus Borg writes: “In this blog, I focus on what Christians call “Palm Sunday.” The story is familiar: as the week of Passover begins, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey and people cheer him, shouting “Hosanna – blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Less well-known is the historical fact that a Roman imperial procession was also entering Jerusalem for Passover from the other side of the city. It happened every year: the Roman governor of Judea, whose residence was in Caesarea on the coast, rode up to Jerusalem in order to be present in the city in case there were riots at Passover, the most politically volatile of the annual Jewish festivals. With him came soldiers and cavalry to reinforce the imperial garrison in Jerusalem.

It is clear what Pilate’s procession was about. By proclaiming the pomp and power of empire, its purpose was to intimidate. But what about Jesus’s procession, his entry into the city?

As Mark, the first gospel to be written, tells the story, Jesus planned it in advance. It was not a last-minute decision, as if he decided to ride a donkey because he was tired or wanted people to be able to see him better.

And – this is the crucial connection – riding a donkey into Jerusalem echoes a passage from the prophet Zechariah:

Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey (9.9).

That king, the passage continues, will be a king of peace:

“He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations” (9.10).

Thus for Passover that year, two very different processions entered Jerusalem. They proclaimed two very different and contrasting visions of how this world can and should be: the kingdom of God versus the kingdoms, the powers, of this world.
The former is about justice and the end of violence. The latter are about domination and exploitation.

On Friday, the rulers of this world kill Jesus. On Easter, God says “yes” to Jesus and “no” to the powers that executed him.

Thus Palm Sunday announces the central conflict of Holy Week. The conflict persists. In words from St. Paul, the rulers of this world crucified the Lord of glory. That conflict continues wherever injustice and violence abound. Holy Week is not about less than that.”

 

“The symbolism is captured in Zechariah 9:9 “The Coming of Zion’s King – See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey”. It was perceived that Jesus was declaring he was the King of Israel to the anger of the Sanhedrin.

According to the Gospels, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there laid down their cloaks in front of him, and also laid down small branches of trees. The people sang part of Psalm 118: 25–26 –… Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord ….

The symbolism of the donkey may refer to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. A king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem would thus symbolize his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.Source

In this quote there are two sides of Christ: the assertive side: See I am your King (in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9) But humble and in peace: riding on a donkey.

 

Praying the Lectionary Readings

A Palm Sunday Prayer

On this day of great rejoicing, Lord Jesus Christ, when we welcome You as our King and Saviour, we also walk in the shadow of Your cross. “Hosanna!” we cry. “Blessed are You who come in God’s name to save us. Hosanna!”

Strengthen our faith on this Palm Sunday so that when the time comes to carry the cross we might still call out to You with heartfelt praise. Give us the grace and the courage to follow You this Holy Week from death to resurrection, from darkness to the fullness of light.

We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Hosanna!

Amen