Good Morning and welcome to our Virtual Palm Sunday Service.
For the last two weeks at around 10am around 40 homes have been joining in with our service at the same time and then around another 30-40 through out the rest of the week. Isn’t it great to be together!
You may need to let this page fully load, with lots of us accessing it at the same time it can be a little slow. Once it's fully loaded click on the play button on the video below. If for any reason this doesn't work after letting it fully load, email Jessica and she will send you another link to take you directly to the video.
Christine delivers her message in the video, but here it is if you'd like to read it!
Jesus rode into Jerusalem – as King – but he was riding a donkey! No king would have ever led a procession riding on a donkey! What was he doing?
When you think about it though, Jesus was often diminishing the things that people thought were so important – it was not the most important thing about a true king to be riding a horse… And he talked to and healed non-Jews, so nationality was not so important after all. Jesus saw the flaws in religion, and he even dismissed family opinion as less important than doing what God asked him to do.
…And we know deep down that he’s right! Stereotypes, nationalism, even religion and family are all things we do tend to put before truly following Jesus’ way.
But it’s still so hard for us now when so much of the structure of our daily lives has been taken away – the physical contact with family and meeting up at church, job security, going to school, the freedom to go away, and to shop for other things than food. And all because of a new virus – or is it the government’s fault, or someone who hasn’t washed their hands properly… Who do we blame?
And we know deep down that blaming others isn’t Jesus way either… In theory, we mature from total dependence as babies to independence, leaving our mothers and fathers and making our own independent decisions in life. But even independence is not full maturity – one thing we’ve discovered already in this difficult time is that we still need others. So I wonder - could Jesus’ way be the inspiration we need to learn interdependence?
Jesus didn’t use the language of war, but of peace and forgiveness, entering Jerusalem on a donkey, not with armed forces. Jesus modelled not independence but interdependence – he spoke the words his Father was saying, he worked with a team – the disciples and others – the donkey and colt were provided by the community. (Echoes there of those now who are helping their neighbours in need!)
War-like language only tends to put people’s backs up – as we’ve seen in people rebelling against what they call a ‘nanny state’. Not until the government began to appeal to the heart of people - that our own actions can benefit ‘our NHS’ and save the lives of those we love - did some of us understand the need to trust others, the scientists and government, and begin to learn interdependence.
This is the second week of ‘lockdown’– and some people are finding it harder than ever to adjust. But some seem to have a better resilience – some kind of deep reserves that help them to cope – to be cheerful despite everything. And it’s not always related to their circumstances, but rather maybe a wisdom based on experience, of having come through maybe worse than this in the past; and a deep knowing of what or whom they can turn to, to help them through…
At the end of the day, when all we once held dear is stripped away, what do we have left? Like the measures our government have taken to save people from dying at this time, Jesus, by taking down our dearly-held ‘props’ – forces us to search deep for reserves – ultimately, I hope, to search for the Source of all, the One we call Love.
Let’s celebrate this Palm Sunday, waving our ‘ad-hoc’ palm crosses, joining in the cry ‘Hosanna, Hosanna!’ Hosanna means ‘Save’. We call out to God – ‘Save our lives and those of all in this world that is in turmoil’ – come to our hearts, Jesus, king of peace!
God bless you…
A big thanks to:
Martin Sykes for leading the service
Steve Pickering for the piano music
Gill and David Watts for contributing a song
Dorothy and Tony Richmond for the pictures at the end.
All those who contributed prayers and readings.
God bless, and have a great week.