Order of Worship
Palm Sunday – The Journey
March 28, 2021

Organ Prelude
Welcome to the Journey
Today we continue a journey through the season of Lent.  This journey mirrors the journey of life and like life this journey invites us to journey in trust: trust in each other, trust and God, and trust in where we need to be in life.  Along the way there are signposts that mark our path.  Each week we invite you to pause and reflect on the signposts along your journey.  Welcome to Lent! Enjoy the journey!

Call to Worship 
Voice 1: There is no power like the power of the people to bring change, because the power of the people won’t stop!
Voice 2: Say what!?
Voice 1: There is no power like the power of the people to bring change, because the power of the people won’t stop!
Voice 2:  Which side are you on, friends? Which side?
Voice 1: Justice for our children is justice for all
All:      and we will strive for justice until freedom is one.
Voice 2: Which side are you on friends? Which side?
Voice 1: Justice for our children is justice for all
All:      and we will strive for justice until freedom is one.
Voice 2: Save us, O God, have mercy and save us.
Voice 1: Open to us the gates of righteousness.
All: Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
Voice 2: Hosanna in the highest.

Opening Prayer  and Prayer of Confession
We want to be respectful tenants of your beautiful garden, God,
marvelling at the beauty and complexity of your creation and our relationship to it.
Forgive us for all the ways that we have hurt your good creation,
And guide us as we strive for a healed world.

Words of affirmation        
One:   With Christ’s help,
All:      we will return to the garden.
One:   Through Christ’s passion,
All:      we will weep by the tree.
One:   For Christ’s sake,
All:      we will proclaim the good news:
One: Nothing can separate us from Jesus Christ, our liberator.

Storytelling         “Another Way”

Sharing of Scripture                         Mark 11:1-11

Sacrament of Baptism
Noah Stephenson Malek
Jillian Lee Foster

Message in Music            “The Palms”
This hymn for Palm Sunday was originally written in French as “Les rameaux” originally published in 1864 by French art collector, operatic baritone and composer Jean-Baptiste Fauré (1830–1914).

Jean-Baptiste Fauré should not be confused with French composer, organist, pianist and teacher Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) who composed a world-famous Requiem and other works.

An early English translation “Palm-Branches” was published by Oliver Ditson Co., Boston in “Gems of English Song” 1875. A number of other English translations have been made, and it has proved surprisingly difficult to identify the translators. One version is sometimes credited to Harrison Millard (1830-1895) – but other sources say he was simply an arranger. 

Message               “Journey into Holy Week”                  Rev. Laura McLeod

Journey Song – A Time of Contemplation

Prayer of Dedication
God, bless these gifts and our lives as a sign of our commitment to the journey ahead.  Amen.

Liturgy of the Palms
Voice 1: We will go into this Holy Week with loud protests.
We will cry to God with our whole hearts.
Voice 2: Save us, please save us.
Voice 1: From the brokenness and corruption of our world,
from greed, hunger and oppression,
from exploitation, degradation, pollution and corruption.
Voice 2: Save us from our broken covenants.
Save us from lawlessness.
Voice 1: We will go into this Holy Week lifting high the good man Jesus, the Christ.
Jesus who taught us about radical love,
showed us how to pray,
gives us hope that a new world and a new way where all people are of equal worth and value is possible if we choose to join him.
May we always hunger for justice until all are fed.
May we always strive until there is justice and food for all.
May we never rest until all are at peace.
May it be so.

A Time of Prayer and Dedication of Crosses
Preparation for Prayer
Silent Prayer
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
In Jesus’ name, we pray, using the words that he taught saying, Our Father…

Go into this Holy week knowing that God goes with you.  Amen.

Organ Postlude

Sharing of Scripture                                 Mark 11:1-11
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Another Way
Based on Mark 11:1-11

It was many, many days later that we disciples had any idea about what the procession with Jesus into Jerusalem for the Passover celebration meant.

We were so caught up with what Jesus had been telling and teaching us. As we walked that last stretch of our journey to Jerusalem and through the east-facing gate, Jesus seemed frustrated and impatient and more on edge with us, but he was also more focused and definite than we had ever seen him.

And then there was the way the details all fell into place – the donkey, the crowds gathering, people spreading their cloaks and leafy palm branches before him on the road, and the cheering: “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

It was as though it had all been pre-arranged and carefully planned. Yet, we had been with Jesus every day, all day, 24/7! And it all happened at the same time as the Romans processed into Jerusalem through the other gate.

We had seen that procession before. That was the usual way for the powerful to enter Jerusalem for the Passover. The Roman rulers wanted to show their power, frighten people, to make sure no one took advantage and used a gathering of so many people try to overthrow the Roman government. Pilate would enter first, on horseback. There would have been many, many soldiers parading in with him, some on horses, some on foot. The sound of their armour and weapons clanging would echo off the walls of the city’s buildings, mixing with the sound of hooves and feet marching and throwing clouds of dust into the air.

Our entrance into Jerusalem with Jesus was certainly another way, a different way, a way we had never imagined we’d see or be part of. We entered with enthusiasm and joy, hopeful and fearless. But we didn’t understand or even think about how important it was, how we were supporting another way, a different sort of power, and how it would disturb so many people. Despite the cruel Roman ways, most of us were far too afraid to stand up against the Roman rulers; everyone thought that meant fighting and bloodshed and death for us. No one, not any of us disciples, ever imagined another way to face the Romans, a way where one could stand up against them without armour or even a weapon in one’s hand, with peace and truth and love in one’s heart.

No one, that is, except Jesus.

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