Tag Archives: Holy Week

Lenten Series 2013 There’s a Prayer for That…The Lord Needs It

IMG_8005for Sunday, March 24, 2013
Palm Sunday
Passion Sunday
Year C
lectionary focus: Luke 19:28-40
Note: If you have not been using our Lenten Series, you can easily modify the references to make this a stand-alone sermon.

Good Morning!
Today is Palm Sunday!

Today we celebrate Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem. We wave palm branches as they did long ago in ancient times as a sign of home and safety. But my favorite part of the parade, my favorite part of the story is the “colt.” Jesus riding the young horse reminds me of Mary riding the donkey in the story of Jesus’ birth. In all the other stories, Jesus walks or is in a boat–but today He rides a colt. And when He sends the disciples to a friend’s to get the colt, He tells them that if anyone asks why they are getting the colt, “Tell them the Lord needs it.”

We are almost to the end of the Season of Lent. Now we enter Holy Week as we prepare for the Joy and Mystery of Easter next Sunday. During the Sundays of Lent, we have been discussing prayer as a way to be close to God. Prayer is how we talk to God. We talk to God about things that make us happy, things that scare us, things we need, and things our friends need…but prayer is not a list of things we want; prayer is not directions we give to God. And today’s story of Jesus riding the colt reminds us of this. No matter what happens, no matter why we pray, God has a plan. Just as God had a plan and a need for the young horse, God has a plan and needs each of us. And whenever we pray, we tell God that we know this. Jesus taught us to pray to God saying, “Thy will be done.” This means we will do what God needs us to do. We pray and share our thoughts and feelings but we also express our faith that God has a plan for us, a purpose for us, and we trust God.

Holy Week is difficult as we remember the end of Jesus’s life on earth. We start by waving palm branches and then we walk through the dark stories of the Passion and the Crucifixion. But through all of this, we know that God has a plan. And next Sunday, we will rejoice that God’s plan as seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus includes loving each of us now and always.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Today we remember the parade
and we wave palm branches
and we think about the colt.
Help us
to continue to pray
sharing our thoughts and feelings
with You.
We have faith
in Your plan
for us.
Amen

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

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Why Palm Branches?

for Sunday April 1, 2012
Palm Sunday
lectionary focus: Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16
prop: palm branches
resource: http://www.historictrinity.org/palmsunday.html 

Good morning!

Today I would like for you to think about where you live, about your home. Home is a great place. There you have good things to eat, a good place to sleep, all of your toys and special things. And of course, there you have the love of your parents and family. Ahh. Home. A good, safe place.

Which brings me to my question: Why palm branches? Why Palm Sunday?

We celebrate today as Palm Sunday to remember the day Jesus came to Jerusalem and everyone was so glad to see him. They had a parade. They waved palm branches for Him and sang Hosannas.

Which brings me to my question: Why palm branches? Why Palm Sunday?

In the place of Jesus, there are lots of deserts. Dry, sandy, hot places. And back in the time of Jesus, when people had to travel through these dry, sandy, hot places, they looked for a safe place to stop and rest. They would look for an oasis, a little lake in the middle of the desert. And at this lake, there would be trees–palm trees. Here the people could get water from the lake and shade from the palm trees. They could rest. They were safe from the dry, sandy, hot desert. Now to find these lakes in the desert, the people would look across the desert sands for the tall, feathery branches of the palm trees, waving to them. And because these palm trees showed travelers where to find a safe spot, people adopted the palm as a symbol for welcome and safety. A symbol for rest and sanctuary and love. A symbol for home.

So the people welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem waving palms to let Him know He was safe, He was loved, He was home. We know that by the end of Holy Week, things for Jesus were not so safe. But through that darkness we come to know that God is our home, our eternal and glorious home.

We do not live in the desert, but today we use the palm branches to remember Jesus’s parade in Jerusalem and to remind us that here at church we have a home, safe with lots of people who love us, safe with our Lord who loves us very much. Ahh. Church. A good, safe home.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord
Thank You
for making us home.
Help us
to share Your safety
and love
with others.
Amen

We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.