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Virtual WORSHIP 5/4/20 Palm Sunday

///Virtual WORSHIP 5/4/20 Palm Sunday

Virtual WORSHIP 5/4/20 Palm Sunday

Hosanna to the Son of David, Hosanna to the King of Kings!

With all God’s people we raise our arms and voices to welcome the One who comes, even Jesus our Lord.

No power-parade or cavalcade, no call to arms, just lowly palms – we welcome you.

As beast of burden carries you across the city, we worship and wonder. Hosanna!

In these days we cannot welcome one another into our homes, nor welcome people into our church buildings. But as we greet the Saviour with ‘Hosanna’, we still welcome one another into our company, albeit at distance, into our church, now dispersed rather than gathered, into God’s kingdom, always present when we have eyes to see and hearts to believe in the King who comes.

May we know in these difficult days that God holds us as if in the palm of God’s hand, and that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus, the One who enters our city and hearts this day.   Amen

Reading – Philippians 2:5-11 NIV The Message

As we journey through these difficult days, here is a prayerful exercise which might help us reflect on this time in the light of God’s purposes. You might do this now, as part of our worship, or you might take more time over a few days.     In the Philippians passage, we hear that Jesus ”emptied himself”.  In his great hymn ‘And can it be’, Charles Wesley goes further, writing that our Saviour “emptied himself of all but love”.

In this time of social distancing and self-isolation, consider what are you ‘empty of’, what are you missing, which activities, habits, responsibilities have you needed to put down?  What is different?  Perhaps you might make a list of the things of which you are empty?    And when you have done so, then prayerfully consider the place of these things in your life.    What things are good to put down, and should not be picked up again?  And which are essential aspects of God’s love to you and through you, which you will pick up at the earliest possible opportunity?

Reading – Matthew 21:1-11 NIV The Message

Reflection

“What’s going on here?  Who is this?”   These are strange days, whether we are talking about a holiday crowd excited by the latest phenomenon, the prophet from Galilee, and wondering if he really is the one they have been waiting for, or a technological society brought to a grinding halt by a microscopic organism which didn’t make its first appearance until this January.  “What’s going on here?  Who is this?”   We have a multitude of questions, and apparently very few answers, and like the people of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day (and now) we are unnerved.

We have become used to certainty, to science having answers to any question, to being in control. We have come to expect our expectations being met.

Or rather, a proportion of our world, our society, our human sisters and brothers, have come to expect this.  Those of us fortunate in birth, location, age, wealth of diverse kinds, we had thought we had the answers.   And Covid 19 has shown us our weakness and need, and brought us closer to that larger proportion of our sisters and brothers used to living with uncertainty, to not being in control, to not daring to expect.   As we ask, “What’s going on here?  Who is this?” we find ourselves united with all God’s people in human vulnerability.  And as we grasp at an answer that includes a king on a cross wearing a crown of thorns, and open ourselves to the uncertainties of these days, perhaps we are in the right place to enter Holy Week.

Let us pray:

God, before and behind us in the journey through these times, keep us company in our questioning.

Jesus, coming to us as a king crowned with thorns, keep us company in our suffering.

Spirit, present with us in the uncertainty of these days, keep us company in our serving.

Holy God, never distant, thank you that you hold us, with all your children, close to your heart, and keep us in your love. Always. Amen.

Lord Jesus,
we pray for all who give of themselves sacrificially,
for those whose lives are dedicated to serving others:
parents, carers, foster carers, doctors, nurses…
those caring for children or elderly relatives.
Let us travel together and lighten the load.

We pray for those serving in war and virus-torn countries around the world:
medics, those who work in missions, the media,
utilities, NGOs and charities…
who bring food, shelter, services and healing to those in need,
sometimes putting their lives on the line.
Let us travel together and lighten the load.

We pray for those in our communities who need our unconditional love:
those hurting from broken relationships, abuse, bullying, domestic violence,
recognizing that these things do not go away because of the coronavirus, indeed, may be worse…
children and adults whose lives are bereft of love and hope.
Let us travel together and lighten the load.

We pray that we might be palm-waving people,
laying down our coats and our lives to serve others,
bringing hope to hopeless situations – the hope
of the cross and the garden beyond.
Let us travel together and lighten the load. Amen.

We pray, with all God’s people, the Lord’s Prayer.

We bless one another, those in our household and family, those we might normally be sitting with in church, those for whom we care and those who care for us, as we share the Grace:

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all, now and always.  Amen.

Into this week we call ‘Holy’ we go, determined to keep company with Jesus through this time of sorrows. Amen

By | 2020-03-31T21:27:13+01:00 April 5th, 2020|Virtual Worship, Worship|0 Comments

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