Song Make way read by Geoff & Linda
Bible reading Psalm 24
1 The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. 3 Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Saviour. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty - he is the King of glory.
Jam Club challenge? Find … a cleaning product? Holy Week - “on Monday…”; #clapforcleaners; cleansing the temple; physical and spiritual application
Bible reading Mark 11, 1-11 read by Brenda
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no-one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.' " 4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" 6 They answered as Jesus has told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
10 "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went to Bethany with the Twelve.
Sing Joy to the world
WRBC object #3
Lectern fall - “showers of blessing” (April showers?! Mixed experience, sun & rain, needed) Can you find the Bible verse? artistry (with testimony!) by Enid Newman
Prayers led by Sheena
It’s the word with which Holy Week begins! But what does it actually mean? It’s a word we only come across in this form in the Palm Sunday stories, and yet it sounds so familiar and almost comforting in its strangeness. It’s a rallying call for the people of God today in our worship, just as it was as it was first used. But what does it mean?
On the face of it, it is in fact a prayer. It’s a Hebrew word that expresses a cry for help; it means “Lord, save us!” It’s a cry that echoes from the lips of slaves in Egypt and exiles in Babylon; it’s heard on the lips of the Psalmist many times (Psalm 118 is one particular text). “Lord, save us!” It’s the prayer of individuals and of families facing frightening circumstances, it’s the prayer of communities and nations coping with challenges which threaten, forebode and shake the very foundations. And if that sounds at all like our world today, then, oh yes, this is a word for today, for us, our nation, our world! Hosanna!
And yet it’s used as we have used it, as an expression of praise, of acclamation, of excitement, of delight! “Lord, save us!”. So what’s going on here? How does a cry for help become a shout of triumph?
Because – and it’s no great mystery – this is our God! The God who we ask to save us does save us - that too is the experience of so many, the Hebrew slaves in Egypt knew it, the exiles of Israel and Judah in Babylon knew it, the prayers of the Psalms which capture all the moods and moments of life and faith - they knew it! We ask God to save us, and he does! Indeed he has, they say! Hosanna is a cry for help, but becomes a shout of triumph.
And we see it in Jesus too - Jesus whose very name means The Lord saves. Jesus who has entered our world in all the fullness of human identity and personality, comes to reveal the love of our creator and our heavenly Father, whose nature is to rescue, to release, to liberate from all that binds and restricts and confines and diminishes. Hosanna – is the cry for help because we need this help. But Hosanna is the shout of triumph because God provides this help. Let us watch and wonder again this Holy Week, as we see the completion of all that God has set in motion in the birth of Jesus, as we witness the path of suffering and pain as Jesus approaches the end of his life, as we contemplate from the safe distance of history the horrific and awful death of Jesus upon the cross – Why have you forsaken me, he cries. It is finished, he declares. And yet, This day you (to a fellow victim of crucifixion) will be with me in paradise, he promises. Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing, he prays God is providing the help even through the apparently helpless. God is achieving salvation in Christ, even as Jesus surrenders everything. The Lord Saves = Jesus. Hosanna – Lord, save us! … and he does, he has >> Hallelujah!
And today as we face the fearful, or turn away from it; as we carry a burden of anxiety, care or grief; as we bear our share of the responsibility, or wish that we didn’t have to, to look after each other by staying away, staying home, to stay safe – we pray Lord save us! Hosanna. And again our confidence is that he does. It’s not a promise that you won’t get the virus, or that I won’t. It’s not a guarantee of health and wellbeing through this season, although that it is my prayer and my hope for you, and for us all. Being followers of Jesus is not and never has been a bed of roses – as Holy Week above all reminds us. What a cost, what a sacrifice, what generous glorious love!
But yet we are assured that God is with us. God is for us. And nothing can separate us from him. Hosanna! - Lord, save us! – we cry seeking his help in our anxious times! Hosanna! – we shout in joyful recognition, in triumphant response! Because he has! He has helped; he has saved. He’s done it before! He’s done it in Jesus! And he’s done it for us today too!
Prayers together This is our God inspired by the modern hymn Meekness & Majesty
Invisible creator of the infinite universe! - This is our God! Lord of the whole world! - This is our God! Ever present, ever faithful, ever true! - This is our God! Father who loves us and cares for us! - This is our God!
Glimpsed in the Old Testament - This is our God! Experienced as Exodus, as delivery from Egypt - This is our God! Anticipated by the prophets - This is our God! Trusted by those returning from exile - This is our God!
Above seen in Jesus - This is our God! The Word made flesh at Bethlehem, sharing all that it is to be human - This is our God! The Teacher and Miracle-Maker of Galilee, working wonders still today - This is our God! The King entering Jerusalem, to be crowned and yet crucified - This is our God! The Saviour going to the cross to die in love for us all - This is our God! The Lord, risen from the tomb, and alive forever - This is our God!
Celebrated by worshippers down the ages - This is our God! As we’ve gathered in chapels, churches and cathedrals - This is our God! But also as now we gather through screens and technology - This is our God! As connections with each other are made mostly online - This is our God! When normality has suddenly vanished, still we worship - This is our God! When restrictions are multiplied, still we rejoice - This is our God! When we must maintain our social distance, still we declare - This is our God! When self-isolation becomes a daily existence, still we bring praise - This is our God!
Let’s shout out in our worship - This is our God!
Let’s call out to the heavens - This is our God!
Let’s share with each other - This is our God!
Let’s share with our neighbours - This is our God!
This is our God! - This is our God! This is our God!
Hymn When I survey read by Jon & Christina
Communion “prep for yourself” Thanksgiving led by Steve J including bread/ wine, and The Peace (a la social distancing!)
Songs Majesty, worship his majesty
You are the King of glory