Palm Sunday Reflections
Hello dear friends and family in Christ,
Whenever we expect guests to our towns or cities we like to prepare the areas so that they show the very best of the place where we live.
Always before the Easter visitors come to Filey, the gardens and traffic islands are dug over and planted so they look pristine, the flats on the crescent are painted. Last year the White Lodge had a super makeover and even the walls of the boating pool were painted by two men wearing waders standing in the water and painting the walls of the pool blue. Everything looks fresh and smells of paint. Everything is ready to welcome the visitors to Filey.
All those years ago in Jerusalem the crowds were getting ready to welcome their new King. He was getting the 'red carpet treatment'! People were throwing their coats down and placing greenery on the ground for Jesus as he entered Jerusalem on his donkey. They waved palm branches as flags, cheering and singing, 'Hosanna' Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
The people were really excited, expecting Jesus to become their King and throw out all the Romans so they would be free again. They thought Jesus would solve all their problems here and now.
However, for the most part the crowd have no idea of what is really about to happen.
Jesus remains calm, passive, silent and completely unpretentious – riding on a donkey, neither criticising nor confirming the crowd's acclamation, as he enters Jerusalem.
The Easter story is for everyone, it is real and relevant to us all. As we read all the parts of the story of 'Passiontide' this week. We will hear how the 'Hosannas' ended by shouting 'Crucify Him'!
This reminds us that we are no different from the fickle crowd in Jerusalem. We are all capable of getting things wrong and Jesus died for us because none of us are perfect. His death means that all of us can be forgiven and live forever with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
For now let's rest in God's presence and remember the places of the Passion we have visited in this story, and the week ahead where tragedy turns to glory and hope in Jesus' resurrection and new life.
If you have a palm cross from previous years or make a paper one we'll use them in a reflective way to pray:-
Hold the cross, vertically and think of the branches waved by the crowds – Praise God for Jesus the King.
Hold the cross on the palm of your hand and think of Jesus carrying the cross. Praise God for Jesus, bearer of our sins.
Hold the cross by the bottom, hold it horizontally and think of Jesus nailed to the cross. Praise God for Jesus, who died for us.
Hold the cross vertically again, and see it empty. Praise God for Jesus our risen Saviour.
Let us pray a prayer of thanksgiving:-
For times of celebration and joy, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endured forever.
For his presence when we need him most, give thanks to the Lord, for is good. His love endures forever.
With awe and wonder, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures for ever.
With heart and voice give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Today and always, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
May God's blessings comfort and console you, may he hold you in the sadness and fear you feel and may he give you real hope.
Rev'd Wilma Horton.
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