Words of Welcome
The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you. I'm glad to welcome you to a few moments of personal worship. While this personal act cannot replace our in-person gatherings, knowing others are praying, reflecting, and connecting along with you might remind you of Jesus words to his disciples at the end of Matthew's Gospel: "I am with you always to the end of the age." God is with you, with us, wherever you are as you join in this virtual worship.
Call to Worship
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the poor; in the name of the sick and suffering in our hospitals; in the name of those searching for meaning; in the name of the hungry and the thirsty awaiting a meal; in the name of the prisoners
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming end to wars and violence; blessed is the coming end to poverty; blessed is the planet fully alive.
Blessed is the coming realm of God!
Blessed is the end of injustice, greed, and unaccountability; blessed is the coming end of debt; blessed is the coming end of fear; blessed is the coming end to death.
Blessed is the coming realm of God!
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
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.
If anyone says anything to you, just say this, 'The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately."
This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
"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."
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;
they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
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!" When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."
Affirmation of Faith
Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even the death of the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
cf Philippians 2.6-11
Prayers of the People
Holy Week, Ann Weems
Holy is the week…
Holy, consecrated, belonging to God...
We move from hosannas to horror with the predictable ease of those who know not what they do.
Our hosannas sung, our palms waved, let us go with passion into this week.
It is a time to curse fig trees that do not yield fruit.
It is a time to cleanse our temples of any blasphemy.
It is a time to greet Jesus as the Lord’s Anointed One,
to lavishly break our alabaster and pour perfume out for him without counting the cost.
It is a time for preparation…
The time to give thanks and break bread is upon us.
The time to give thanks and drink of the cup is imminent.
Eat, drink, remember: On this night of nights, each one must ask,
as we dip our bread in the wine,
“Is it I?”
And on that darkest of days each of us must stand
beneath the tree and watch the dying if we are to be there when the stone is rolled away.
The only road to Easter morning Is through the unrelenting shadows of that Friday.
Only then will the alleluias be sung; only then will the dancing begin.
Lord’s Prayer (Sung)
May the God,
who so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
bring you by faith to his eternal life.
who accepted the cup of sacrifice
in obedience to the Father’s will,
keep you steadfast as you walk with him the way of his cross.
May the Spirit,
who strengthens us to suffer with Christ
that we may share his glory,
set your minds on life and peace.