Sunday Guided Tour for April 5, 2020:  Palm / Passion Sunday 

Here is the link to the U - Tube worship service

Read the text below at your leisure or follow along with Rev. Jim and and Rick Young - Music Director

https://youtu.be/SCfjZzeB1_Q

You can also access this at Facebook : Friends of TrinityUnitedChurchThorold. 

The Bible stories for this Sunday describe a course, a pathway, from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to trials and tribulations in the city and then a threshold into Holy Week and Golgotha ..

The stories of Palm and Passion precede Good Friday and Easter Sunday;

and, without them, Easter has no meaning whatsoever ..

Because Easter is the Christian truth of life brought out of death.

It’s the promise God is with us in our life and in our death.

It’s assurance that the Living Christ bears our burdens with us and then takes them to the cross so they can die ..

The story of the Passion, as raw and truthful as it is, is a story that is Gospel and Good News, because it promises God bears our burdens for us and makes us free!

Hear the stories of Palm Sunday and the Passion as they come to us from Matthew:

Jesus sends disciples to the village to retrieve a donkey for him, and a colt.  If they’re interrupted, they’re to say the master needs them; and that’s just what they did.   Then Matthew says:

They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them out before him.  The crowds that went ahead of Jesus, and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, 

    the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered,

        “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 

Music: #123 Hosanna, Loud Hosanna

 

Palm Sunday.  Triumphal Entry.

But we know the story doesn’t end there.

In fact, it’s just beginning ..

    And for people of the faith, we know the tale commences in an upper room, 

     with Passover, and Jesus, and his friends ..

This is what we’re told by Matthew:

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

 

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

 

When they had sung a hymn, says Matthew, they went out to the Mount of Olives, and from there, to a place called Gethsemane, a garden, where Jesus prayed .. and prayed that his disciples might stay wakened .. but they couldn’t ..

 

And in his prayer, Jesus pleaded:

    

 “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

 

And in that garden, Matthew tells us, while Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the religious leaders and the elders of the people.

 

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”  Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

 

Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.  With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

 

Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

They took him then to Caiaphas; and only one disciple followed: 

      Peter ..  but only at a distance ..

 

They’d come there from a holy meal; 

a meal together in an upper room;

 a meal that has persisted through the ages, 

                and made us who we are ..

 

On Palm and Passion Sunday here at Trinity,  we have shared together in Communion.  And at that holy meal, we, together, have been body and community and soul ..  And though today we’re far apart perhaps, and separate, the words of our Communion Prayer might bring us close, and make us one again.  Though not in body, in spirit we are here today together; and this is the Communion Prayer we share .. a prayer that this very day seems so relevant and more important than ever:

 

One:    Brother Christ, help us to follow you deep into the waters of baptism, to break the chain of past wrongs, to                  become fit to face your coming age.  Jesus, our Brother, help us to follow you.
 

All:      Help us to follow you into the desert, to fast with you, denying false values of luxury, refusing the tempting                  ways of self-indulgence, the way of success at all costs, the way of coercive persuasion.

             Jesus, our Brother, help us to follow you.
 

One:    Help us to follow you into untiring ministry  -  to town and village, to heal and restore, to cast out the                           demonic forces of greed, resentment, communal hatred, and self-destructive fears rampant in our lands.                     Jesus, our Brother, help us to follow you.
 

All:      Help us to follow you into the place of quiet retreat, to intercede for the confused, the despairing, the                           anxiety-driven, to prepare ourselves for costly service.

             Jesus, our Brother, help us to follow you.
 

One:    Help us to follow you on the road to Jerusalem, to set our face firmly against friendly suggestions to live a                     safe, expedient life, to embrace boldly the way of self-offering.  Be near us as we once again declare, “Blessed             is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
 

All:    Jesus, our Brother, help us to follow you.

Words of Institution

One:    Brother Christ, help us to follow you even to the cross, to see our hope in your self-spending love, to die to all             within us not born of your love.  Jesus, our Brother, help us to follow you.
 

All:      Help us to follow you out of the dark tomb, to share daily in your resurrection life, to be renewed daily in                     your image of love, to serve daily as your new body being broken to your world.
 

One:    Remembering your death and celebrating your Resurrection, we await with hope your coming again to bring             peace and justice to the earth.
 

All:      Come Lord Jesus.  We pray you, God of love, send your Holy Spirit upon us and what we do here that we, and                all your gifts to us, touched by your Spirit, may be signs of life and love to each other, and to all the world.

One:    Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,  in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 

All:       all glory is yours, God most holy, now and for ever.  Amen.

We are together ..     and together here we share in Christ’s Communion, all as one, even though we’re far apart ..

 

Music: #149 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Early in the morning, Matthew tells us, all the religious leaders and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed.  So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

As Jesus stood before the governor, the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

The one who was condemned, Barabbas, the one whom they had called for, was released, and Pilate asked:

“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

Barabbas he then gave to them ..  

But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him.  They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head.  They put a staff in his right hand.  Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him.  “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.  They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.  After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him.  Then they led him away to crucify him. 

 

The stories of Palm Sunday and the Passion:

they take us into Holy Week, Good Friday, and beyond.

And we can know that Christ is with us,

in life and death and in the life to come.  

Thanks be to God!

 

Benediction:                        VU#419, spoken

    May the grace of Christ our Saviour,

    and our Maker's boundless love,

    with the Holy Spirit's favour,

    rest upon us from above.

    Thus may we abide in union

    held together by the Word,

    and possess in rich communion

    joys which earth cannot afford.

Music: #127   Ride On!  Ride On in Majesty! (Tune: Winchester New)

Trinity United Church Thorold 

905-227-4644  /  tuc@vaxxine.ca