PALM SUNDAY – April 5, 2020
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
(video note. You can adjust the youtube settings up to 1080p for a better picture if you have the bandwidth)
WELCOME TO WORSHIP Rev. Aho
MUSIC FOR WORSHIP “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart” arr.,D.Wagner
CALL TO WORSHIP Mary Kate Burns and Caroline Williams
(This may be read in unison or shared between people in your home)
This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
God’s steadfast love endures forever.
The stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing. It is marvelous in our eyes.
Bind the festival processional with branches.
Jesus is the gate of the Lord. The righteous enter through him.
This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
PALM SUNDAY HYMN “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” ST. THEODULPH
All glory, laud and honor to Thee, Redeemer, King.
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son.
Who in the Lord’s name comest, the King and blessed One.
The company of angels are praising Thee on high,
and mortal men and all things created make reply.
The people of the Hebrews with palms before Thee went.
Our praise and prayer and anthems before Thee we present.
To Thee, before Thy passion they sang their hymns of praise.
To Thee, now high exalted, our melody we raise.
Thou didst accept their praises. Accept the praise we bring,
Who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious King!
CHILDREN’S MUSIC “Blessed Is He” I. Hudson
SCRIPTURE READING Matthew 21:1-11
MUSIC FOR WORSHIP “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” arr., H. Hopson
Sanctuary Choir Sam Hampton, violin
Beneath the cross of Jesus, I fain would take my stand.
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land.
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat and the burden of the day.
Upon the cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One who suffered there for me.
And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess,
The wonders of His glorious love and my unworthiness.
Adoramus te, O Domine Jesu Christe.
We adore Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ.
~Text by E. C. Clephane, 1868 (PD)
PALM SUNDAY MEDITATION “Two Things” Rev. Aho
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday, but this year, instead of children marching down the aisles with Palms, we stay at home. It is strange to only imagine such a vivid worship experience. Palm Sunday delivers the amazing pageantry and excitement to kick off Holy Week, but even without the typical cues, I hope we can see that Palm Sunday is about both the road ahead and Jesus.
If we think about the road ahead, our situation is not unlike that of the folks who met Jesus on Palm Sunday. As they prepped the donkey, grabbed the palms, and laid down their cloaks, they couldn’t see the future. And today, neither can we. As we share worship from home, normal seems like a mirage on the horizon and we have no idea what might pop up between today and someday. Right?
For some, this evokes despair. With all these uncertainties, it is easy to be overwhelmed. And this reminds us that if we only focus on the road, it can be hard. The road from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday meandered through a valley of difficulty. And our path through this virus season may also become arduous.
Therefore, to focus only on the road ahead is daunting. Considering what lies ahead is important but obsessing about every step is a recipe for failure. Thankfully, Palm Sunday is about more than preparing for the difficult road through Holy week. Palm Sunday also points the eyes of our hearts toward Jesus.
Those first Palm Sunday worshipers really saw Jesus, didn’t they? They saw their rabbi, healer, teacher, and Messiah on that donkey. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, the memories of a calmed sea and a walk on water undoubtedly rushed back. I bet they shared testimonies about his power and his compassion. And I am sure they retold stories like the 5000 he fed, the ones he healed, and all the other instances which reshapes their shared experience of life.
So to see Jesus on Palm Sunday is a celebration which is topped only by Easter Sunday, the Sunday that changes everything. And to celebrate today means we do not just consider the difficult road Jesus will soon walk through Holy Week, but we are assured that the messiah who rose after Holy Week also will walk our difficult roads with us today.
Thinking ahead, I can’t wait for March 27th, 2021, our next Palm Sunday. To get to that day, we must not be discouraged by what lies between here and there. If we only focus on the road, we may not make it. So today, we raise the palms to our savior.
We look to Jesus, who will not be kept in the tomb.
And I hope we remember that Jesus both walked all the roads for us and promises to along our roads with us as well.
Today, I pray that we will see through the palms of Sunday, past the road ahead, to focus on our Savior so we might draw close to him as he walks the road with us. Amen.
Taking up an offering is an act of worship and a part of our service each week. It is important to remember that our offering not only supports the ministry of the church but is an expression of our thankfulness for all God has given us. We give today because God first gave to us.
The gates of righteousness are thrown wide
and we go with God’s blessings.
The path of salvation is made plain
And we go in Christ’s truth.
The cornerstone of our faith is sure
And we go with the Spirit of God’s grace.
We go with God and walk with Christ during this holy week. Amen.