Scattered But Worshiping Together
April 5, 2020
Procession of the Palms
Welcome to Worship
There is no right way to do this. If you are a small group or couple, share the readings around. If you are an individual, saying the words out loud may help with presence. But make it your own; use it as you want to. As you read through the devotional, if there are thoughts to engage with, we encourage you to do that.
At 11 am gather in a common area in your home.
In the center, place a lit candle (real or electric)
Someone say out loud;
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
God’s steadfast love endures forever!
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest heaven!
The Lord is our God, and has given us light;
Great is our God, we give thanks to the Lord.
God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Prayer (Or you can pray in your own words)
Merciful God, as we enter Holy week, turn our hearts again to Jerusalem, and to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Stir up within us the gift of faith that we may not only praise Him with our lips, but may follow him in the way of the cross.
Scripture Reading for the Day – Mark 11:1-11
Invite 1 or 2 to read it from a Bible.
Suddenly we see a shift in Jesus. Something is up, something is changing. It’s like he has a different focus suddenly. Something new is happening.
In the past the crowds pressed in on him, they followed him, and chased after him. They laid in wait for him. Of course, the people who wanted to see him were the sick, the lame, the blind, and the possessed. Jesus, full of compassion, healed them and taught them.
In Mark’s healing stories, Jesus ordered the people who were made well, not to say anything about him or what he had done. Jesus wanted absolutely no attention. Now, for the first time, Jesus prepares to meet the people in a more conspicuous manner.
Jesus sends his disciples into the city before him to prepare for his visit. Previously he would try and come into a town quietly, drawing as little attention to himself as possible.
Walking had been the primary mode of travel. At this new stage of his ministry, he rides into town on a colt. A young donkey. Jesus has a procession, complete with fanfare and the ever present crowd.
This time, he does not dodge the crowd; he enters into their midst. People are going before Jesus and following after him, shouting, “Hosanna!” This is a significant change!
Jesus knew this was a new time in his life. It is the beginning of the end. In just a few days, he will be hanging on a cross.
With new fortitude and determination, Jesus steps out. One can sense his determination to finish well.
We reenact this scene in many ways in our own lives. We may not have a procession and be treated like royalty, but we face situations that demand inner strength and determination; an inner strength that perhaps we did not really know we possessed.
When we hear the word cancer, or find ourselves alone after the death of a spouse or loved one, we wonder how we will ever make it. Or the assignments are piling up and we don’t know if we can do them. Or friends are pushing us to do things that are not healthy or helpful for us. At some point we make a choice and say, with God’s help, I can do this.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a colt that had never been ridden before. This was a big deal for Jesus and the colt.
Generally, horses and donkeys that have never been ridden before do not like people, or any kind of weight, on their backs. Their first reaction is to get rid of whatever is on them. They kick. They buck. They bite.
Horses spook very easily. They dislike things, like cloaks, flapping around them. Horses need to learn how to be led, to know the signals to turn left and right. Some donkeys never learn this stuff.
That’s why it’s amazing, —miraculous even.
Jesus climbs on an unbroken colt—with cloaks flapping, crowds of people jostling and shouting, others throwing down cloaks and palm branches into his path—and calmly rides into town.
Some animals seem to have the ability to read humans. If a horse or dog senses that a person is nervous around them, they can become nervous and jumpy.
I wonder if the the colt, and the crowds, interpreted Jesus’ determination and fortitude as confidence?
When we are faced with situations we do not like or want, we see Jesus’ example to us, to make the decision to do what is right, and carry through with determination and obedience.
Too often, we play the “what-if” game. What if the colt starts to buck or tries to run away because of the noise of the crowd? What if I fall off this beast? What if I fail…?
Perhaps the better questions to ask are, “What if I don’t do what God invites me to do and to be a part of? What if I allow my personal preferences or my comfort to influence my actions?”
This is a Sunday of great joy and hope as Jesus enters Jerusalem with his processional. But we know what lies ahead. The suffering, the crucifixion, and death. His trust in his heavenly father would be tested. Watch through this week how Jesus will continue to be obedient, even though it costs him everything.
As we move through this week, may we be humbled by Christ our example. May we be wiling to follow Him in obedience and faith to do what we are asked of God to do.
Take time to pray together.
-Ask or think of some things to pray for
Holy Communion – If you are able to view the video on the webpage and join us in communion, please do so. If that isn’t working for you, do let us know and we will work on other ways for you to participate.
Prepare the elements before hand. A cup of juice and a piece of bread or a cracker. What is used isn’t as important as the condition of our hearts.
When you are ready, press play.
Closing Prayer – Have someone close with this
Before this week ends, the Palm branches will be drying on the roadside. The joyful crowd will become an angry mob, and Jesus will replace robes of victory with a crown of thorns.
Let us go in the knowledge that whatever comes to us in this week, Christ has been there before us. And as we go…
May the Lord bless us and keep us.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon us
and be gracious to us.
May the Lord turn his face toward us and give us peace.
In the name of God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Something fun for the kids from Pastor Marc
Giving our Offerings, An Act of Worship
If you would like to make a donation, Click on this link which will lead you to instructions on how you may do that.
For a printable copy of the above service, click on the link below: