Sunday, April 5, 2020

The 6 Sunday of Lent ...Palm Sunday

Prelude … Hosanna Jesus Christ Superstar 2020

 light the candles

Let’s start with three deep breaths and relax….

Prayer for a PandemicBy Cameron Bellm

May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.

Amen let us begin todays worship

Call To Worship (responsive):.
Leader: Lord help Our unbelief.
People: Lord help Our unbelief.
Leader: Creator we confess to you our fears, our worries, and all of our anxieties
People: Lord help Our Unbelief.
Leader: Blessed Creator in these difficult time we feel dislodged, displaced, and discouraged
People: Lord help our Unbelief
Leader: In these uncertain times we struggle to be grounded, to be peace-filled, to be believers
People: Lord help our unbelief

The King of Glory – Willard F. Jabusch & Randall DeBruyn

Sixth Sunday in Lent/ Palm Sunday
We come together, week after week, be that in person or Virtual, we come together sharing a common quest for a deeper faith and a deeper experience of the divine. I invite you now to close your eyes and let go of the things that distract and concern you. Listen! The time is drawing near. Jesus is preparing to enter Jerusalem. How will we greet him? Will we follow him all the way to the Cross? The power of Jesus is that he lived what he taught, even when it led to his death. He lived with an abiding awareness of God, radiating the light of God in all he said and did. But that light was too much for the world. There are forces today, as there were in ancient Judea, that conspire to put it out. Where are we in this drama? What are we willing to risk to follow Jesus?
(Silent time.)
As we extinguish this light, we acknowledge the darkness and pain of illness and disease in the world.
(A candle is extinguished.)
Let us pray.
Loving God, there are so many choices before us every day. Choices offered by our friends, our families, our culture, our own past. Some of them encourage the well-being of the earth, ourselves and our neighbors; others are destructive. Help us to distinguish between them. May we learn from the choices of Jesus and embody compassion, justice, and inclusion in all we say and do. Amen.

Today’s Gospel reading is

Matthew 21:1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
21 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.[a]” 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[b] 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!”
10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The word of God for the people of God!

The sun was rising rapidly. It was beginning to shoot its golden beams across the horizon to adorn the sky and bring a grand finale to the dawn that would bring a new day to the history-filled city of Jerusalem. This is the festive season of Passover. The old city was filled with pilgrims, visitors, and travelers who had come from many countries to share in the feast. Secular census records indicate there were at least 2,500,000 people in Jerusalem for the event. An exciting rumor spread through the city: "Jesus is coming!"

Behind Jesus were His sermons; ahead, His suffering. Behind Him were His parables; ahead, His passion. Behind Him were His suppers of fellowship; ahead, what would be called last supper. Behind Him were the delights of Galilee; ahead, dark Gethsemane. Prophecy was now to become practice.

There is a tension in todays Gospel.  Though it is a celebratory entrance into the city, it is a city under occupation.  Though today is triumphant, this week quickly turns from joy to sorrow to an empty tomb, to confusion, fear and rejoicing.

That is a lot to go through in one week and yet we know how quickly life can change. Life can catch us unawares. What can start off as a beautiful sunny day can end in sadness and pain at any given time.

Listen to the dissonance we hear in our prelude of Hosanna from Jesus Christ superstar the 2020 version.

CAIAPHAS:  Tell the rabble to be quiet, we anticipate a riot.
This common crowd, is much too loud.
Tell the mob who sing your song that they are fools and they are wrong.
They are a curse. They should disperse.
JESUS:  Why waste your breath moaning at the crowd?
If every tongue were stilled.   The noise would still continue.
The rocks and stone themselves would start to sing:

CROWD AND JESUS:  Hosanna, Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Lyrics from the Song “Hosanna” in Jesus Christ Superstar

Stones shouting and rocks singing captured my imagination this week.  What was Jesus trying to say to the religious establishment with this metaphor?  At first you might think a stone is the least likely object to communicate.  Stone deaf means you can’t hear, hearts of stone means you can’t feel.  Stones seem to be the epitome of an inanimate object that have no feeling or senses.  If they speak, that is unexpected.  Stones do speak, if you know how to listen.  People have used stone to communicate in many ways throughout history.”[1]

There are times when our hearts feel as heavy as stones.  This holy week events can make that feeling understood and some feel it as if it were today when reflecting on the events.  Many of us have heavy hearts today just due to the worldly circumstances we find ourselves in.

I think that’s why I find hope in the music.  I find hope in Jesus words even the rocks and stones themselves would sing.

Todd Weir reminds us that “Ancient peoples were fascinated by the now lost arts of stone acoustics and incorporated fascinating features into their religious temples.  In the Mayan temples of Chitzen Itza, when you walk in the stone stairs it sounds like rain fall.  If you snap your fingers, you will hear a bird call of the Quetzotal bird coming from the wall across the room.

At the Hindu temple of Tamil Nuda, some master mason created singing pillars centuries ago.  You would have no idea if you looked at the temple.  Someone would have to tell you to strike the pillars with your fist.  You would then discover that each pillar is tuned for a specific pitch and with a dozen musicians you could pound out a song on the great stone pillars.  Imagine the call to worship there, with people pounding on great pillars invoking the Holy Presence.  Ancient people understood that stone could be used to create awe and wonder as we come into the presence of the holy.”[2]

I have this beautiful singing bowl and it is made of metal but they make singing bowls out of quartz. Out of Rock. When in Church and we sing our voices sing out and htte walls sing our notes back to us. Many singers choose to sing in bathrooms because the stones walls sing back and make them sound so much better.

So when your heart is heavy.  When you feel the weight of what is happening around you I hope your burdened heart can still rise up and sing. 

Jesus rode in with songs of hosanna while on the other side of the city Pilate rode in with an army of oppression. Jesus’ heart must have been heavy with anticipation of the days to come.

We must remember … Knowing that all this triumphant celebratory entry into the city will only end on a hill.  Jesus comes. Despite all that.. Jesus comes and Because of all this…All of you…all of us, all of humanity…Jesus comes!
Because there is poverty in the world …Jesus Comes
Because there is Hunger in the world… Jesus Comes
Because there are migrants who are seeking a better life …Jesus comes
Because there are war torn parts of our world…Jesus comes
Because the planet and all things living upon it are crying out for justice…Jesus comes
Because there are those who need just and equal health care…Jesus comes
Because people need disaster relief in Puerto Rico ...they need food, electricity, roofs…Jesus Comes
Because of Students who want to be safe and see no need for weapons of war to be available in our society…Jesus comes!
Jesus Comes! Jesus Enters the city and there is an open invitation to follow.  But how do we do that?  How do we follow Jesus into Jerusalem? What are we Called to do? How do we prepare to follow Jesus into Jerusalem?

In the midst of these days we must let our burdened hearts sing. We are called to be the very rock and stones themselves and sing, Hosanna because in-spite of what is going on we are still the hand and feet and eyes of Christ in this world and we, through love, and support, even just by social distancing, we are proclaiming the king of Glory Comes and we are rejoicing. AMEN!

Speak about communion for Easter sunday

Please write your joys and concerns in the comment section and I will lift them up after this hymn

Give us this day From the Album the Lords prayer this song  features the archers

Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us

Our Creator, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kin-dom 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 kin-dom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

Normally this would be the call to the offering if you would care to you can mail in your offerings or go to the top of the webpage and click the donate now
The office is open for regular hours
We are accepting donations for the kidz cupboard and the food pantry

I am available for one on visits or phone calls if you need any prayer we will be together again soon but until then remember you are the hands and the feet of our lord in this world and in this world of no physical contact we can still smile, wave, chat , check in

All Glory Laude and Honor as performed by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir on their hymns of faith series

[2] Ditto

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