PALM SUNDAY SERVICE

Palm Sunday 

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use this coming Sunday.  I invite you to share in a few moments with God at 10.30 this Sunday, knowing that other people within Paulton, Trinity and Chew Stoke Methodist Churches are sharing this act of worship with you. 

Revd Martin 

 

Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-20, 24-29 

A Song of Victory 
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; 
   his steadfast love endures for ever!  
2 Let Israel say, 
   ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’  

 
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, 
   that I may enter through them 
   and give thanks to the Lord.  
20 This is the gate of the Lord; 
   the righteous shall enter through it.  

 
24 This is the day that the Lord has made; 
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.  
25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! 
   O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!  

26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. 
   We bless you from the house of the Lord.  
27 The Lord is God, 
   and he has given us light. 
Bind the festal procession with branches, 
   up to the horns of the altar.  

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; 
   you are my God, I will extol you.  

29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, 
   for his steadfast love endures for ever. 

 

Hymn – Make way, make way 

1 Make way, make way, for Christ the King 
in splendour arrives; 
fling wide the gates and welcome him 
into your lives. 

Make way (Make way), make way (make way), 
for the King of kings (for the King of kings); 
make way (make way), make way (make way), 
and let his Kingdom in. 

 2 He comes the broken hearts to heal, 
the prisoners to free; 
the deaf shall hear, the lame shall dance, 
the blind shall see. 

3 And those who mourn with heavy hearts, 
who weep and sigh, 
with laughter, joy and royal crown 
he’ll beautify. 

4 We call you now to worship him 
as Lord of all, 
to have no gods before him, 
their thrones must fall! 

Graham Kendrick (b. 1950) 

 

Prayer  

God of all that has been and of all that is yet to be, on this Palm Sunday we give thanks for the generosity of the owner of the donkey, who gave to Jesus and did not count the cost;  
for the joy of the crowd as they glimpsed the kingship of Jesus, and recognised his majesty amongst them;  
for the humility and courage of Jesus himself, not basking in the welcome, but knowing what was to come. 

 May we give the best of all we have in your service, may we with joy acknowledge your kingship, and may we, like Jesus, know when the time is right to fulfil our vocation, whatever the risks, 
whatever the opposition, however fickle the support of others may be.  
Amen. 

Forgive us, Lord,  
when we have been silent and not praised you, when we have been distracted and not welcomed you, when we have been complacent and not acknowledged  
your presence in our lives and in our world, when we have felt defeated and not trusted you, when we have not laid our cloaks at your feet but have laid them at the feet of others. 
Forgive us, Lord, and bless us with your humility, your courage and with the fellowship of others. 
We ask this in your name.  
Amen. 

 

Matthew 21: 1-11 

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem 

2.1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ 4 This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,  
5 ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, 
Look, your king is coming to you, 
   humble, and mounted on a donkey, 
     and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’  
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, 
‘Hosanna to the Son of David! 
   Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’  
10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ 11The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’ 

Hymn – Children of Jerusalem 

Children of Jerusalem 
Sang the praise of Jesus’ Name: 
Children, too, of modern days 
Join to sing the Saviour’s praise. 
 
Hark, hark, hark! 
While infant voices sing, 
Hark, hark, hark! 
While infant voices sing 
Loud hosannas, loud hosannas, 
Loud hosannas to our King. 
 
We are taught to love the Lord, 
We are taught to read His Word; 
We are taught the way to Heav’n: 
Praise for all to God be giv’n. 
 
Refrain 
 
Parents, teachers, old and young, 
All unite to swell the song; 
Higher and yet higher rise, 
’Til hosannas fill the skies. 
 
Refrain 

John Henley (1800-42) 
 

Reflection 

It is less than 2 weeks, but already the idea of being in a large crowd seems incongruous to us.  Jesus was used to large crowds gathering around him, but he was also a man who sought peace and solitude, time to be nearer to God, time to pray and reflect. 

The people in Jerusalem thought Jesus was going to be their Messiah, a mighty King, who would help them to be released from the oppression of the Roman army, so they wanted to celebrate his arrival and welcome him into their city.  They didn’t have a red carpet to lay out for Jesus, so they did what they could, they took off their coats and laid them on the ground in front of him, and cut branches from the nearby trees to wave in celebration of his arrival.  They shouted “Hosanna!” - an expression of joy and praise. 

Would you have taken your coat off and put it on the ground in front of Jesus?  It would never be the same again, trampled, ripped and dirty.  They probably didn’t have another, so this would have been an expensive thing to do.  Sometimes following Jesus can be costly to us, but whatever we are called to do, we should do it as generously as we can. 

I wonder what Jesus was thinking as he entered Jerusalem?  He knew what the next week would bring, a final meal with friends, betrayal by one of his own, the suffering he was about to endure leading up to Easter.  He knew that these very crowds who were shouting “Hosanna!” today, would be shouting “Crucify him!” by Friday. 

The story goes that the donkey had known what Jesus was about to go through. They say that seeing the tragic event of Jesus’ crucifixion, the donkey wished he had been able to carry the cross for Jesus, as he was the one who should carry such burdens. The donkey turned his back on the sight but he could not leave Jesus whom he had carried.  He wished to stay until all was over because of his love and loyalty. 

In reward for the loyal and humble love of the donkey, God caused the shadow of the cross to fall across his back, and the donkey has carried the cross ever since as a sign that the love of God carries a reward for all to see. 

May our loyalty and love of Jesus mark us permanently as Christian people for all the world to see.  Amen 

 

Intercessions & Lord's Prayer 

Almighty God, as we remember Jesus entering Jerusalem, prepared for the personal sacrifice he was about to make, we pray for all those who make sacrifices in the name of humanity.  Especially this week, we pray for all those caring for others, when this might put them at risk, seeking no reward or recognition, save that of doing what they are called to do.  May your blessing rest upon them, and keep them safe from harm. 

We pray for our families and friends, and for all those in need at this present time. 

Amen 

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has 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. 

And lead us not into temptation; 

but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, 

the power, and the glory 

for ever and ever. 

Amen. 

Hymn – All glory, laud and honour 

1All glory, laud, and honour 
to thee, Redeemer, King, 
to whom the lips of children 
made sweet hosannas ring! 
Thou art the King of Israel, 
thou David’s royal Son, 
who in the Lord’s name comest, 
the King and Blessèd One. 

   2The company of angels 
are praising thee on high, 
and mortal men and all things 
created make reply. 
The people of the Hebrews 
with palms before thee went; 
our praise and prayer and anthems 
before thee we present. 

   3To thee before thy Passion 
they sang their hymns of praise; 
to thee now high exalted 
our melody we raise. 
Thou didst accept their praises; 
accept the prayers we bring, 
who in all good delightest, 
thou good and gracious King. 

   4All glory, laud, and honour 
to thee, Redeemer, King, 
to whom the lips of children 
made sweet hosannas ring! 

St Theodulph of Orleans (d. 821) 
translated by John Mason Neale (1811–1866) 

Blessing 

Blessed is the one who goes in the name of the Lord.  Blessed is the one who proclaims the Lord’s glory. Blessed are you who are marked with the sign of the cross.