April 17, 2011

Liturgy Reflection & Benediction 04.17.11

Liturgy

Today is the Palm Sunday – the day we remember what’s called Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem. When Jesus came into the city, about a week before he died, the whole city came out, waving palm branches and hailing him as their King. A week later, they would call for his death as a criminal.

We can celebrate this day because we see the whole story.
Though those who would hail him as King would later call for his death,
God the Father used their betrayal to raise Jesus to the highest possible throne. It’s because of Jesus’ death – his ultimate act of humility – that God raises him up as King of Kings.

Hear these words from Philippians.

Philippians 2:6-11
6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

— taken from Sojourner Community Church

Congregational Prayer

On this Palm Sunday, let us pray a prayer of confession together as a community.

Jesus, our Lord, we shout hosannas to praise you.
With eager hands, we place our palms of praise
on the path before you.

Yet, Lord, we confess that the mouths
that seek to praise you often deny or defy you.

We confess that the hands that seek to serve you often become fists.
We confess our praise is often empty.

Just as the people of Jerusalem did long ago,
We sing “Hosanna,” but cry “Crucify.”

As the crowd laid their palms in front of you,
you took no glory for yourself.

Yet, we confess that we crave acceptance and take the easy way.
We do not stay true to your will.

Forgive us, Lord, and help us
to follow in the way of your obedience to our Father.
Help us to be faithful and loving servants of Jesus, our King.

We pray in the name of the Father,
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

— taken from Sojourner Community Church

Reflection

What does it feel like when you’re misunderstood?
How can we seek to understand others in this season of Lent?

Benediction

The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you.
The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine on us.

So now: Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come;
that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them;
then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone;
whereby in them you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.

— George Fox

Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.

[Photo by Gideon Tsang @ Flickr]

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