Sunday 5th April Palm Sunday

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We know what events today’s bible passage will tell us about – we know that a key word for the day is ‘Hosanna!’ BBC 1 at 10:45am and 1:15pm will give us the opportunity to sing along with some traditional Palm Sunday songs, but for a more contemporary song go to YouTube: ‘Hosanna! Praise is rising’

All four gospels tell us about the events we call Palm Sunday, this year we are going to follow the events which take us to Easter Sunday as told to us in Luke’s gospel, so todays reading is: Luke 19: 28-44

Luke’s account of the events is different to the other three gospels in that he doesn’t use the word Hosanna! He does tell us that the crowd ‘began joyfully to praise God in loud voices’ which would describe what the shouting of ‘Hosanna’ signified. The word has its roots in the phrase ‘save us’ and there-in lies a clue as to how it all went so wrong. We know that just five days later the crowd change from shouting ‘Hosanna’ to shouting ‘crucify him’ How in such a short time can people opinions change so radically from declaring Jesus to be ‘the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ to wanting to have him crucified?

On that first Palm Sunday the crowd thought that Jesus was coming to overthrow the Roman authorities who had invaded Israel 60 years earlier. Read what Jesus does next (Lk.19: 45-48) and think how that would feed people’s hopes of Jesus leading a revolution. Also with the hindsight we have, think about what Jesus was really saying through his action in the temple courtyard.

But as the days progressed it became clear to the people that ‘the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ – Jesus – didn’t intend to do overthrow the Romans. How do we feel when Jesus doesn’t do what we expect him to do? We may not shout ‘crucify him’ but neither are we shouting ‘Hosanna’ as we feel disappointed – even angry, but King Jesus isn’t someone we can manipulate into doing what we want – we believe he is… well look at the list you made last Sunday – or the picture Helen created. King Jesus is trustworthy and so we have faith that he knows best, even when that means he doesn’t do what we think he ought to do.

I’m in the middle of reading Hillary Mantel’s trilogy about Henry VIII – a king who didn’t expect people to question his wisdom and authority, even though those around him knew he was just a fallible, insecure man. Many of you have enjoy watching the TV series ‘Victoria’ and can probably recall that sovereign’s reaction when her authority is called into question. King Jesus is not like those earthly sovereigns, instead when we question his wisdom he responds with grace and mercy. King Jesus is all those words we wrote down last Sunday – and he is trustworthy. Let’s not be like the crowd on that first Palm Sunday, but instead acknowledge King Jesus’ right to reign and rule in our lives no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in

A well-loved hymn reminds us that:

The King of love my shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never,

I nothing lack if I am his and he is mine forever.

Read Psalm 23 or on YouTube sing along to ‘The King of love – I am they’

Usually on Palm Sunday we receive a palm cross, I looked at how to make them but it is quite complicated – YouTube ‘Making palm crosses Tring team parish’ - so instead find a sheet of paper or card (open up some packaging from the recycling).

Draw in the centre of the page the outline of a wide cross (spoiler alert: Next Sunday we decorate inside the cross outline). The cross below shows how you can use 7 squares to get the proportions right. Write under your cross a phrase from this ‘poem’

This cross is not magic, nor is it a good luck charm.

It isn't meant to protect me from every physical harm

It's simply a reminder of the price He paid for me.

It reminds me too, to be thankful for my blessings day by day

and to strive to serve Him better in all that I do and say.

It's also a reminder of the peace and comfort I share with

all who know my Master and give themselves to His care.

This cross is a reminder that Jesus Christ is

the Lord of my life, if only I'll let Him be.

(taken from ‘the cross in my pocket’ – Sonia’s craft group)

On Wednesday we will continue to use the space surrounding the outline of your cross to help us engage with the familiar events which lead up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Perhaps before then you would like to continue to read Luke’s gospel:

Monday, chapter 20 and on Tuesday chapter 21 - Stephen

Page last updated: 25th April 2020 11:49 AM