Date: April 1, 2012
Liturgical Sunday: Palm / Passion Sunday
RCL Scripture: Liturgy of the Palms Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Mark 11:1-11
RCL Scripture: Liturgy of the Passion Psalm 31:9-16; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1-15:47
Sermon Title: Palm / Passion – where do we fit?
Knox Presbyterian [audio:https://wordsfromthemiddle.ca/wp-content/uploads/120401_-_Knox1.mp3|titles=Palm / Passion – where do we fit?]
St. Mark’s Presbyterian [audio:https://wordsfromthemiddle.ca/wp-content/uploads/120401_-_St_Marks1.mp3|titles=Palm / Passion – where do we fit?]
This is one of the most difficult Sundays to know what to do as a preacher. I intentionally went with the larger Gospel reading in the Liturgy of the Passion which made a full service very full indeed.
These sermons will make much more sense if you read Mark 14 & 15 and then listen to one or both of them, or use the links above to have these two incredible powerful chapters read for you. If anyone would prefer my considerably less dramatic voice for this reading, just let me know and I’ll put one up.
I have not done this before but I would like to give you some idea of what a service might look like, this is the order of service (bulletin) that everyone receives when they arrive:
Call to Worship (Responsively)
~ See bulletin insert for Lenten liturgy ~
*Hymn Tell me the stories of Jesus
Prayer of Praise (minister)
Prayer of Confession (congregation)
Lord Jesus Christ, we praise you with heart and life and voice, not only with outward signs such as palm branches or the occasional “Hosanna,” but with lives truly turned towards you. It seems such a distance from this Palm Sunday to you being welcomed as a king, yet riding on a lowly donkey. Greeted with cheers and acclamations which were so soon to turn to jeers and condemnation. From this side of the resurrection, we believe that we could never have been part of the jeering crowd – but would we, if we had been there? Forgive us.
The Lord’s Prayer (Debts/Debtors)
Assurance of Pardon (minister)
Liturgy of the Palms
Responsive Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
*Hymn Hosanna, loud hosanna
Liturgy of the Passion
Responsive Psalm 31:9-16
Reader: This is the word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God!
*Hymn Beneath the cross of Jesus
Sermon Palm / Passion – where do we fit?
Prayers of the People (minister)
*Hymn O sacred head, sore wounded
Offering & Offertory
*Doxology Praise God from whom all blessings flow
*Prayer of Dedication (congregation)
Bless these gifts and our lives, O God, for we offer them in the name of Jesus, our Lord. He emptied himself that we might be filled. We pray these gifts be used to proclaim the gospel which fills lives that are empty and lifts up those who need help. Amen.
*Hymn O Love that wilt not let me go
The only difference between what you see above and what anyone receives is the lack of bold to indicate congregational participation and hymn numbers. All this is to explain why the sermons are so incredibly short this Sunday . . . they most certainly did not need to be long and twenty minutes, or ten minutes for that matter, simply wouldn’t fit.
One of the most powerful things we can do in Holy Week is to read or have read for us a Passion account and see where we fit in the story. There is an evangelical bias to always and only put us in the crowd that cried “Crucify him!” and this is too simplistic. If we pay attention to the account, we will see how we fit as Peter, as a member of the mob, as a disciple at the Last Supper but also as one of the women who followed him, as Joseph of Arimathea. We are all over that story; we might be everyone but Jesus. It is when we own our responsibility as a member of the mob but also celebrate our identity as one of the women that we can gain a far more rich and full understanding of Holy Week. This understanding will enable us to more fully celebrate Easter Sunday, the very best day of the year.