April 10, 2022 - Palm Sunday Worship

April 10, 2022 – Palm Sunday

Morning prayer: Almighty God, on this day Your Son Jesus Christ entered the holy city of Jerusalem and was proclaimed King by those who spread their garments and palm branches along His way.  Let those branches be for us signs of His victory, and grant that we who bear them in His name may ever hail Him as our Lord, and follow Him in the way that leads to eternal life.  In His name we pray.  Amen.  (UM Book of Worship)

The People’s response: (UM Book of Worship) (Wave your palms while shouting your praise!)

Leader: Hosanna to the Son of David!

People: Hosanna in the highest!

Leader: Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.

People: Hosanna in the highest!

Hymn #278 Hosanna, Loud Hosanna

  1. Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang,
    through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
    To Jesus, who had blessed them close folded to His breast,
    the children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.
  2. From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd,
    the victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud.
    The Lord of earth and heaven rode on in lowly state,
    nor scorned that little children should on His bidding wait.
  3. "Hosanna in the highest!" that ancient song we sing,
    for Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King.
    O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice,
    and in His blissful presence eternally rejoice!

Affirmation of Baptism – Kendra Stout and Casey Mills will affirm their baptisms at the 8:15 worship service, April 10, 2022

INTRODUCTION TO THE SERVICE

Brothers and sisters in Christ: Through the Sacrament of Baptism we are initiated into Christ's holy Church. We are incorporated into God's mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through water and the Spirit. All this is God's gift, offered to us without price. Through confirmation, and through the reaffirmation of our faith, we renew the covenant declared at our baptism, acknowledge what God is doing for us, and affirm our commitment to Christ's holy Church.

THANKSGIVING OVER THE WATER

A deacon or lay leader may pour water for baptism and reaffirmation into the font at this time in such a way that the congregation can see and hear the water.

This prayer is led by the pastor and joined by the people. It recalls scriptural images and meanings of Holy Baptism and is comparable to the Great Thanksgiving at Holy Communion. All may stand.

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray.

The pastor may raise hands in the ancient Christian posture of prayer, and invite the congregation to do likewise.

Eternal Father: When nothing existed but chaos, You swept across the dark waters and brought forth light. In the days of Noah You saved those on the ark through water. After the flood You set in the clouds a rainbow. When You saw Your people as slaves in Egypt, You led them to freedom through the sea. Their children You brought through the Jordan to the land which You promised.

**Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Tell of God's mercy each day.

In the fullness of time You sent Jesus, nurtured in the water of a womb. He was baptized by John and anointed by Your Spirit. He called His disciples to share in the baptism of His death and resurrection and to make disciples of all nations.

**Declare Christ’s works to the nations, His glory among all the people.

The pastor may place hands in or over the water, stir the water, or lift the water.

Pour out Your Holy Spirit, to bless this gift of water and those who receive it, to wash away their sin and clothe them in righteousness throughout their lives, that, dying and being raised with Christ, they may share in His final victory.

**All praise to You, Eternal Father, through Your Son Jesus Christ, who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever. Amen.

PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES

I present Kendra Stout and Casey Mills for confirmation. (affirmation)

RENUNCIATION OF SIN AND PROFESSION OF FAITH

Since the earliest times, the vows of Christian baptism have consisted first of the renunciation of all that is evil and then the profession of faith and loyalty to Christ.

Casey and Kendra: On behalf of the whole Church, I ask you: Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?

I do.

Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?

I do.

Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in His grace, and promise to serve Him as your Lord, in union with the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?

I do.

The pastor addresses Kendra and Casey:

According to the grace given to you, will you remain faithful members of Christ's holy Church and serve as Christ's representatives in the world?

I will.

The pastor addresses the congregation, and the congregation responds:

Do you, as Christ's body, the Church, reaffirm both your rejection of sin and your commitment to Christ?

We do.

Will you nurture one another in the Christian faith and life and include these persons now before you in your care?

With God's help we will proclaim the good news and live according to the example of Christ. We will surround Kendra and Casey with a community of love and forgiveness, that they may grow in their trust of God, and be found faithful in their service to others. We will pray for Casey and Kendra that they may be true disciples who walk in the way that leads to life.

The Apostles' Creed in threefold question-and-answer form appeared at least as early as the third century as a statement of faith used in baptisms and has been widely used in baptisms ever since. Casey and Kendra and local congregation join with the universal Church across the ages in this historic affirmation of the Christian faith.

A deacon or pastor addresses all, and the congregation joins Kendra, Casey and their parents and sponsors in responding:

Let us join together in professing the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Do you believe in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, [who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again to judge the living and the dead.]

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holy Spirit, [the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.]

CONFIRMATION OR REAFFIRMATION OF FAITH

Acts of confirmation or reaffirmation of faith are not acts of rebaptism. >Here water may be used by the candidates as the pastor says:

Remember your baptism and be thankful. Amen.

In services of the baptismal covenant, water should be used generously as a sign of the abundance of God’s grace, cleansing, life-giving and life-renewing power. Appropriate ways persons being confirmed or reaffirming their faith may use the water include the following:

a) They may touch the water and make the sign of the cross on their own foreheads.

b) They may scoop up the water and let it fall back into the font.

c) They may use it on their heads, or hands, or to refresh their faces.

As the pastor, and others if desired, place hands on the head of each person being confirmed or reaffirming faith, the pastor says to each:

Kendra and Casey, the Holy Spirit work within you, that having been born through water and the Spirit, you may live as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Prayers of Intercession:  Lord we cry to you for help.  You answer in words, in the deeds and acts of kindness, in the people around us.  Hear the cries of our hearts for those we hold dear.  We now pray as You have taught us: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Offering spotlight:  Thank you for your tithes and offerings to the Lord.  Your contributions fund our youth group activities and Sunday School program.  The adults of our church model for the kids how to become faithful and lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ.     

Offertory prayer: Triumphant God, we echo the shouts of “Hosanna!” as we relive the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and all that waits in the week to come. Like that first parade so long ago, we may have different ideas of what kind of a messiah we long to welcome. Many of us seek one who thinks like we think, who will wield power to meet our longings. As we give our gifts this morning, may we be of the heart and mind of submission. You know better than us the messiah that is needed for Your kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven. In Christ, we pray. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn of Preparation #277 Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

  1. Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear;
    things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here:
    scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea, stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
  2. First let me hear how the children stood round His knee,
    and I shall fancy His blessing resting on me;
    words full of kindness, deeds full of grace, all in the lovelight of Jesus' face.
  3. Into the city I'd follow the children's band,
    waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand;
    one of His heralds, yes, I would sing loudest hosannas, "Jesus is King!"

Message scripture: Luke 19:28-40

After he (Jesus) had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When He had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as He had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As He rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As He was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, order Your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

Message:  Your King Comes                  Rev. Ron French

          Belle Starr was one of the few women outlaws in the Old West, and being so she gained widespread notoriety. One day, Judge Isaac Parker was attempting to try a case, but he couldn’t get the courtroom’s attention. Even members of the jury had wandered from the jury box to stare out the window. What was the source if the excitement? Outlaw Belle Star was riding by on her horse, and everyone in town wanted to catch a glimpse of her. The judge had to call a five-minute recess to deal with the distraction.

          I can imagine a similar distraction on the day Jesus entered Jerusalem. He was no outlaw, of course, even though the law would put Him to death. His time had now come. No use hiding His identity any longer. No use delaying the inevitable. So He sends two of His disciples into the village to procure a young colt.

          He and His followers had probably come by foot all the way from Galilee. But now for the last two miles He would ride a donkey. There is only one answer I can find as to why He would do this. He was deliberately acting out the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, which states: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is He, humble and riding on a donkey…”

When the disciples brought the donkey to Jesus they threw their cloaks on it and then helped Jesus get on. Then as He rode into the city, the people spread their cloaks on the road and then began to “praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!’” (Luke 19:37-38) When I read these words, I think of the angels who sang at Jesus’ birth: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors.” (Luke 2:14) At His birth He came into a world that would reject Him. As we enter Holy Week He comes into a city that will reject Him.       But, at this stage, the people are still singing His praise. In fact, they are so boisterous, they make the Pharisees uneasy. “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, order Your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’” (Luke 19:40) It is a wonderful story. Is it any wonder why Christians all over the world will be celebrating today? It is a word of hope in a world of despair. It is a word of hope before entering a week in which we remember Christ’s betrayal and His death at the hands of sinful humanity.

          Let’s spend some time thinking about Jesus riding on a donkey. If you and I were to choose a steed to ride in a parade, I dare say a donkey would not be our first choice. Beth Warpmaeker of Houston, Texas says that whenever she hears about Jesus riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday she thinks of a story her mother once told. She said her mother as a child would often look through pages of a mail order catalog. Invariably her eye would always stop on a donkey pulling a cute red cart behind it. Beth’s mom as a child loved the idea of having a cute little donkey to help her haul things around the farm – especially using the cute little red cart. She begged and begged her father to buy her that cute little donkey in the catalog and finally he did. When the donkey arrived though, it was not cute or little, and it did not have a cart attached to it. It was very dirty, and it smelled just awful. And as hard as she tried, Beth’s mom could not get that donkey to move. No matter what she did it would just stand there.

          Donkeys have a reputation for being like that – stubborn, smelly, lowly… Overall they have a poor image. And that my sisters and brothers is sad because donkeys have played an important role in rural areas of the world throughout history. Go to a biblical concordance or visit a Bible website and see how many times donkeys are mentioned in the Bible. (In the NIV it is 142 times.)

          In spite of their image of being lowly, as well as stubborn, donkeys serve their masters in many ways. In the Middle East donkeys are still used as beasts of burden. One authority says that donkeys are so willing to work that they patiently accept crate after crate, stone after stone, shovel after shovel of sand until sometimes they fall to their knees. Of all the animals in the world, the donkey is the most hardworking, the most humble, and probably the most abused. The authority goes on to say that “the donkey has a natural caution, which is mistaken for stubbornness, provoking unknowing owners to beat them.” And yet Zechariah prophesied the Messiah would arrive “humble and riding on a donkey.”

          Corrie ten Boon was once asked if it was difficult to remain humble when she became the target of so many accolades for her Christian writing. She replied, “When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches, throwing garments on the road, and singing praises, do you think for one moment it ever entered the head of that donkey that any of that was for him?” It captures our imagination that Jesus rode a colt, a foal of a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It was a sign of His humility and His commitment to peace.

          Now notice the reception of the crowds. Everyone loves a parade, well almost everyone, I’ve never been a fan of parades. But in this case it is clear that the crowd was welcoming Jesus as a liberator from political oppression. The Hebrew word Hosanna means “save us!” And it was common in Bible times to spread garments in the path of princes and kings, especially at their coronation.

          The phrases “Hosanna” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” both come from Psalm 118 which is one of the praise psalms used every Passover. These Jewish hymns would be as familiar to the Jewish people as Christmas Carols are to Christians. The people thought Jesus had come to destroy the tyranny of the Romans who ruled them. And they were in the mood to celebrate.

          The people were welcoming Jesus like a political liberator. No wonder they turned against Him when they discovered He was not about political revolution but about spiritual revolution. He wasn’t about riots, but about righteous living. He wasn’t interested in setting up a temporal kingdom but introducing an eternal kingdom. And the people were disappointed, then they became angry, then violent. And they called for Him to be nailed to a tree.

          Pastor John Jewel tells about a professional baseball player who was asked what it was like to be a hero to so many young people. He replied, “Well, there was one particular game that made me take all the adulation with a grain of salt. I had four ‘at bats’ with two home runs, a double, and a strike out my last time up. The crowd cheered my first three hits and booed loudly when I struck out.”

          Sports fans are fickle. So are most people in general. We are a people who swing back and forth. Certainly the crowd that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem that day was fickle. They changed their minds in a hurry. Many of them who yelled “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday were most certainly in the crowd that yelled “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” just a few days later. But it’s all a part of the Palm Sunday experience. Jesus riding a donkey. The crowd shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

          Finally, note the reaction of the Pharisees. It is important that we do not cast the Pharisees as villains. It’s not that simple. The Pharisees were simply the religious leaders of their time. They saw it as their responsibility to keep the faith of their fathers. When Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey in accord with the messianic prophecy of Zechariah, the Pharisees as well as Jesus’ disciples were certainly aware of the messianic implications of this act.

          Given the highly charged atmosphere of thousands of pilgrims pouring into Jerusalem for the annual festival of the Passover, Jesus entering Jerusalem in such an intentionally conspicuous manner as to evoke feelings of national liberation was certainly a great risk. When the Pharisees in the crowd hear the people shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” they say to Jesus, “Teacher, order Your disciples to stop.” Apparently they were afraid that such a tumultuous activity would attract the attention of the Roman authorities. And if this happened, soon a company of soldiers would be sent to squelch what could have been seen the beginning of an insurrection. The Jews were already considered a thorn in the side of the Romans. And the Romans were just looking for an excuse to bring the Jews down. If Jesus continued to be seen as a political Messiah, an insurrectionist, all the might of the vast Roman Empire would be arrayed against the people of Israel.

          There was no turning back, however. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” (40) In other words, Jesus is saying, “The die has been cast. There’s no stopping the forces that have been set in motion now. This is why I have come. And even if you could quiet the crowd the rest of the events would play out just as My Father has intended.”

          And they did play out just as the Father intended. It is important to understand that this is no simple human drama of a good man being crushed by forces of evil. This is God’s Son laying down His life to rescue a dying world. Palm Sunday does not exist in isolation. It is the beginning of what has been dubbed Holy Week, when we remember the passion and death of our Lord – the week that changed the world.

          Brothers and sisters that is Palm Sunday. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. He was welcomed with shouts of hosanna and blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. The Pharisees were very uncomfortable with it all and asked Him to quiet the crowd. He responded to that that it was too late. The drama must play out – the Divine drama – the drama that gives hope to a sinful humanity. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo your King comes to you; triumphant and victorious is He, humble and riding on a donkey…”

Closing Hymn #280 All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Refrain:
All glory, laud, and honor, to thee, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

  1. Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David's royal Son,
    who in the Lord's name comest, the King and Blessed One.
    (Refrain)
  2. The company of angels are praising Thee on high,
    and we with all creation in chorus make reply.
    (Refrain)
  3. The people of the Hebrews with psalms before Thee went;
    our prayer and praise and anthems before Thee we present.
    (Refrain)
  4. To Thee, before Thy passion, they sang their hymns of praise;
    to Thee, now high exalted, our melody we raise.
    (Refrain)
  5. Thou didst accept their praises; accept the prayers we bring,
    who in all good delightest, thou good and gracious King.
    (Refrain)

Benediction:  Go into this week with the blessings of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Contents © 2022 Lightstreet United Methodist Church • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy