Palm Sunday reflection April 5th 2020
I don’t think that there will have ever been in all of a history anything like the Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday that we will be celebrating this year. Nothing, not even persecution, in the past history of the church has ever totally stopped Christians from meeting and worshipping and celebrating together. Our traditional practice is to meet together, to share together and to support one another in love and friendship in the presence of God – to worship, honour and praise him. The Corona Virus and Covid-19 may stop us physically meeting together, we may be socially isolated but we are all joined in the Spirit. The building may be closed but the church is active!
Throughout the centuries when Christians could not be open about meeting they found other ways to join together in love and friendship and support. We are blessed that in these hard days of ‘isolation’ we can communicate with one another in so many different ways, we can ‘meet’ together, we can talk together, we can share together, we can support one another.
We may not be able to process around our church waving palm branches this Palm Sunday but we can all read our Bibles and pray. We can read these Sunday reflections or join in with worship on the web, (Church of Scotland weekly worship video can be found here: https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship/weekly-worship-video) or we may find something on YouTube or on our televisions. This link for weekly worship is not from our local church but is prepared by the Church of Scotland Worship Group.
It’s a shame we don’t have a video of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem but we have all heard the story so often I am sure we have very strong images in our minds of what happened that day. It too was unprecedented, never before had an ‘ordinary’ man entered into Jerusalem on a donkey – a man, not a general on a great white horse, but a man on a donkey – and been welcomed and acclaimed like a king. They spread their cloaks and palm branches on the road before him and shouted:
'Hosanna to the Son of David!'
'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'
'Hosanna in the highest heaven!'
He went on to the Temple courts and threw out the money lenders, he called them back to the reality of what real worship was all about, and he healed the blind and the lame and at the end of the day he returned to Bethany. We are told that the chief priests and the scribes were angry at what he did. It was this anger that developed over the days to come.
This was the triumphal start to an eventful week, a week we call Holy Week.
This was the beginning of the end …for at the end of that week, as we all know, Jesus was nailed to a cross and killed.
Or… should we say… this was the end of the beginning…
Lord Jesus Christ,
you entered Jerusalem in quiet humility,
taking the form of a servant,
even to the point of death upon the cross
emptying yourself so that we might be filled.
Come afresh to our very troubled world today,
with all its needs and all its tensions,
all its worries and concerns
and all its problems.
Bring healing where there is division,
love where there is hatred,
hope where there is despair,
joy where there is sorrow,
calm where there is anxiety,
confidence where there is fear,
strength where there is weakness,
wholeness where there is sickness
comfort to the bereaved and let us know
your peace that is beyond all human understanding.
Lord Jesus Christ,
hold our troubled world in your hands at this time.
Gather your children to come together in whatever way we can,
strengthen our faith, our bonds and our churches.
Let us be your hands of care reaching out to help.
May this day lead us to a deeper
understanding of your Kingdom,
and a greater awareness of your love, we pray. Amen.
Hosanna, loud hosanna (with children and palm branches) https://youtu.be/ij1khwpf7P4
All Glory, Laud, and Honour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KavJ95g-V8
Palm Sunday 2017 with Keith and Kristyn Getty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWWy3yvqIuU