April 3, 2020

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

HYMN – to be said or sung

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Hark all the tribes hosanna cry;
thy humble beast pursues his road
with palms and scattered garments strewed

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lonely 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 winged 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,
awaits 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.

 

PSALM 31 v. 1 – 6

In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust; let me never be put to confusion, deliver me in thy righteousness.

Bow down thine ear to me; make haste to deliver me.

And be thou my strong rock, and house of defence; that thou mayest save me.

For thou art my strong rock, and my castle; be thou also my guide, and lead me for thy Name’s sake

Draw me out of the net that they have laid privily for me; for thou art my strength.

Into thy hands I commend my spirit; for thou hast redeemed me, thou God of truth.

 

Gospel for Palm Sunday –  St Matthew chapter 21 verses 1 – 11

 

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them”. And he will send them immediately. This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet saying, ’Tell the daughter of Sion, Look your king is coming to you, humble and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey’.

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting;

Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven.

This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to thee O Christ

 

Address

In the Man Born to be King, the play cycle about the life of Jesus by Dorothy Sayers, she places us on Palm Sunday outside the gates of Jerusalem, where two different processions are converging.

One is the official process of Pontius Pilate coming up with all the trappings of state power, soldiers and chariots, to keep order at the Passover. The other is the procession of the rabbi Jesus, coming down the Mount of Olives riding on a colt, with a crowd of cheering followers. With the patronising superiority of a colonial governor taking an interest in the strange customs of the natives, Pilate stops and gives way as Jesus goes through the gate. Pilate can watch with complete confidence, for this Messiah on his donkey is on the way to his cross and is no threat to the entrenched power of Rome.

2,000 years later, Pilate is remembered only in relation to Jesus, and Rome’s imperial power is long gone. But all over the world, millions sing Hosanna to Jesus.

In these dark and difficult days of world crisis when the corona virus is sweeping over our country and over the world, we are still invited into the procession of the world’s Messiah. We are still invited to trust In His power rather than the power of our own hands, or the vengeance of our own anger. We are in the procession of the only one who has overcome death and whose love lines our paths and leads us on to life with Him now, and to life in whatever form the future brings.

 

Prayer

Abide with us dear Lord, throughout this day.
Be with us in our isolation from each other.
Let us be close to you in mind and spirit.
Abide with us in our seeking and in our longing,
in our restlessness and in our fear for the future;
Abide with our families and with all those we love the most.
Give us the assurance of your presence and help us to hear
your voice in the stillness of our world.
Lord abide with us,

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord we pray for those in places of pain and sorrow,
For those who are caring for others in our NHS and
feel themselves to be in danger,
We pray for those who continue to uphold our normal
life, for broadcasters and newsmen and women, for those
who continue to dispose of our rubbish this week,
for those who continue in our surgeries and health centres,
for all those working to sell and to stock our food supplies,
for those who are working to find a vaccine, and for all
those who are working to advise on the way forward.
Lord abide with us,

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Lord we pray for the brokenhearted,
for all those who mourn the death of those who have died,
especially for those unable to attend funerals.
We pray for all those who are shocked by the pain and sickness
of the world and for all those who are lonely and long to share their distress.
Lord we place ourselves and all those who are suffering this day
under your protection and love.
Lord abide with us,

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

The Blessing

Lord we pray for your presence now and always and look for the coming
of your kingdom and trust in your power to save and to hold us up
and the Blessing of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, be with us all now and for ever.

AMEN

 

 

 

 

 

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