Palm Sunday Service 28th March 2021- Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

28th March 2021- Canvey Island Methodist Church Service- Palm Sunday

 

Readings: Psalm 118:1-2,19-29; Mark11:1-11;

Complete Service Link: https://youtu.be/X7SpudtWVg4

 

1) Welcome to today’s service from Canvey Island Methodist Church on Palm Sunday 28th March 2021.   I am grateful to our Worship leaders  who have prepared this morning's service.      Colin 

2) Call to Worship Psalm 118:1,19,20,21.   Colin 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.

 

3) Hymn Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His Love endures forever- Chris Tomalin.     Colin 

https://youtu.be/PGTZq3uCPm0

 

Give thanks to the Lord our God and King

His love endures forever

For He is good, He is above all things

His love endures forever

 

Sing praise, sing praise

 

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm

His love endures forever

For the life that's been reborn

His love endures forever

 

Sing praise, sing praise [2x]

 

Forever God is faithful

Forever God is strong

Forever God is with us

Forever

 

From the rising to the setting sun

His love endures forever

And by the grace of God we will carry on

His love endures forever

 

Sing praise, sing praise [2x]

 

[2x]

Forever God is faithful

Forever God is strong

Forever God is with us

Forever

 

Sing praise, sing praise [4x]

 

Forever God is faithful

Forever God is strong

Forever God is with us

Forever

 

Forever You are faithful

Forever You are strong

Forever You are with us

Forever

 

4) Prayers of Praise and Lords Prayer.  Colin

The gates of Holy Week are open, and we gather to celebrate our king who rides a donkey. We bring to you the best of what we are, Lord Jesus, laying down our lives in service, as you laid down your life for us. 

Our Lord and Father we adore you. Closing our eyes we seek you and praise you for meeting us here. 

God’s Son, riding on a colt we adore you. We praise you for your generous love, one with us. 

Holy Spirit, guiding and inspiring us, we adore you. Through you we praise the mystery and the majesty that came in frail flesh, yet overcame it. 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in adoration we celebrate your victory. Eager to join in the excitement of that first Palm Sunday Crowd, we picture ourselves casting our cloaks before Jesus and joining the celebration. Would we, though, if it were to happen again today really join in!

 An impoverished preacher on the humblest of beasts, would we cast our finest before him? Tear off our wool and Cashmere coats, our leather jackets and throw them down for his donkey to trample? We confess, Lord that we might be hesitant to part with these things. Those first Palm Sunday people threw their prized possessions before Jesus, giving the best they had. Forgive us for holding back so much from him, and help us to celebrate with all that we have.

Lord, thank you for forgiving us when we have been mean with our attitudes. 

Jesus forgives us and opens our hearts and our minds to how we should think and feel.

 Lord, Thankyou for forgiving us when we have withheld our possessions. Jesus who had nothing. Forgive us and show us how to share. 

Lord, thank you for forgiving us , when we have kept ourselves to ourselves. 

Jesus, who lived and died for others, forgives us and calls us to join him. 

We give thanks for all the good things in our lives; for times of celebration when we share our best and give of our best. Praise be to you, Father, for blessing us so bountifully. We thank You for the one who had nothing, who rode into Jerusalem, on a borrowed donkey, praise be to you, Jesus, for giving of yourself so richly. As we enter the gates of Holy Week, may we embrace the celebration with all that we have. Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name,  thy kingdom 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 kingdom,  and the power, and the glory,  for ever and ever. Amen.

 

We hear the Old Testament Reading from Psalm 128:1-2,19-29 and then a reflection upon this prepared by Annette. 

 

5) OT Lesson Psalm 118:1-2,19-29.     New International Version. Annette (Zoom).   Cathy (YouTube).

 

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    his love endures forever.

2 Let Israel say:

    “His love endures forever.”

19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;

    I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord

    through which the righteous may enter.

21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;

    you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected

    has become the cornerstone;

23 the Lord has done this,

    and it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 The Lord has done it this very day;

    let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us!

    Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

    From the house of the Lord we bless you.[a]

27 The Lord is God,

    and he has made his light shine on us.

With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession

    up[b] to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;

    you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    his love endures forever.

 

Footnotes

a.Psalm 118:26 The Hebrew is plural.

b.Psalm 118:27 Or Bind the festal sacrifice with ropes / and take it

 

6) Reflection on Psalm 118  verses 1-2, 19-29. Annette 

The Psalms are a wonderful collection of songs and prayers which express the heart and soul of humanity, they express the whole range of human experiences.  David and the other writers honestly pour out their true feelings, reflecting a dynamic, powerful and life changing friendship with God.  They confess their sins, express their doubts and fears, ask God for help in time of trouble and they praise and worship Him.  Because of the honesty expressed by the Psalmist, people over the ages have come again and again to the book of Psalms for comfort during the time of struggles and distress, also with the Psalmists they have risen from the depths of despair to new heights of joy and praise as they have discovered the power of God’s everlasting love and forgiveness.  A member of our fellowship, I will not name her, but I’ll give you a few clues – she is our most senior member, much respected and very dearly loved, has often said when she is in need of comfort she turns to the Psalms - such wisdom!

Today as we remember a great time of celebration (Palm Sunday) we have read a large proportion of Psalm 118.  It is one of a group of praise songs which were sung at the many festivals observed by the Jewish people.  The hymn that Jesus and his disciples sang at their last Passover meal together would have concluded with Psalm 118.

Psalm 118 was sung in procession by kings, priests and people at the Feast of Tabernacles.  The community were called together for thanksgiving.  (The verses we did not read tell of an individual as he describes being saved by the Lord).  As the Psalm progresses there is a call to open the gates and the procession from gates to altar begins.  There is much rejoicing and thanksgiving.

 

‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes’.  Jesus referred to verses 22 – 23 when he was rejected –Jesus showed the unbelieving religious leaders that even the rejection of the Messiah had been prophesised in Scripture.  In Acts 4 verse 11 Peter used the rejected stone that became the cornerstone to explain the death and resurrection of Jesus.  The cornerstone unites the two sides of an arch and holds it together.  Peter said that the Jews had rejected Jesus but now Christ had become the capstone (i.e. the cornerstone) of the church.  Without him there would be no church because it wouldn’t be able to stand.  Those who knew the risen Christ found in Psalm 118 a testimony to His being the fulfilment of the hopes of Israel – He is their Messiah.

Verse 24 – ‘This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it’.  Let us be like the Psalmists, no matter how they  felt they were always hones t with God, no matter how they felt their prayers always ended in praise.  When you do not feel like rejoicing let God know how you truly feel.  You will find that God gives you a reason to rejoice.  God has given you this day to live and to serve Him – be glad!

Psalm 118 is a truly inspiring psalm – Let us rejoice and be glad in Him! 

7) Hymn How Deep the Fathers Love For Us. Stuart Townend 

https://youtu.be/tzQj7XvKFmA

 

How deep the Father's love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

 

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory

 

Behold the man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

 

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished

 

I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection

 

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

 

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

 

8). Gospel Reading Mark 11:1-11.     Sue H.(Zoom) 

Mark 11:1-11. New International Version. Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

 

11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

“Hosanna![a]”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

 

Footnotes

a.Mark 11:9 A Hebrew expression meaning “Save!” which became an exclamation of praise; also in verse 10

b.Mark 11:9 Psalm 118:25,26

 

9). Reflection on Mark 11.     Cathy

Such familiar verses, we all know about Palm Sunday. Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a young colt and the crowd going wild, throwing off their coats/cloaks for Jesus to ride over (a bit like laying down a red carpet), waving Palm branches and shouting Hallelujah.

Can we get caught up in the excitement? One week to go till Easter day, lockdown restrictions being lifted, we will soon be able to see and hug our loved ones.

The Jewish people knew nothing of Easter day or Good Friday, or the significance of anything that was about to happen. We view this familiar telling of what happened with hindsight.

Jesus arrival in Jerusalem involves two distinct phases, the obtaining of the colt and the acclamation of the crowd. This narrative is dense with Old Testament allusions. The Mount of Olives was associated with the arrival of the Messiah. Military leaders rode on horseback and messengers of peace on donkeys. 2 Kings 13 tells us of people spreading their cloaks for newly appointed King Jehu.

In his narrative Mark is stressing three things. Firstly that Jesus is the Lord of his destiny and s reliable prophet whose word is verified. Secondly the true understanding of Jesus as Messiah in the line of King David. A peaceful Messiah who prepares for the coming of his father's kingdom. Thirdly the contrast between people who acclaim Jesus and the leaders who plot to kill him.

I wonder if we had been the disciples charged with obtaining the colt, would we have been untying it with a certain amount of trepidation, wondering if we would be accused of stealing.

The power of Jesus' words immediately allow the disciples to take the colt.

The crowd also respond to Jesus in a celebratory mood, cloaks were valuable, costly items. There is not only a recognition of greatness in Jesus' words but in his person too.

The crowd acknowledge this with their shouts of "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord",  "Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our father David" and "Hosanna in the highest". These words mirror those in Psalm 118 which we heard earlier. This Psalm was used at festivals sometimes with palm branches, as a prayer for the restoration of the Kingdom. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord being interpreted as Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David.

We must remember that some in this crowd are the same ones who a week later cry "crucify him" in answer to Pilates question "What should I do then with the one you call King of the Jews".

Are we part of the first crowd, proclaiming Jesus as King, recognising his message, ready to do his will and bring others to him, or do we deny him like Peter did, maybe not with words but sometimes by omission.

Sometimes we get tired and jaded by the world and especially by this current situation, wouldn't it be great if we could once again get excited about Jesus our triumphant King riding into our lives, bringing peace and hope, humbly riding on s donkey.

10) Hymn Ride on Ride On In Majesty.     Cathy after which our prayers for others prepared by Mary. 

https://youtu.be/Zo5pfl6z6lA

 

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 

Hark! all the tribes hosanna cry; 

O Savior meek, pursue thy road 

with palms and scattered garments strowed.

 

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 

In lowly pomp ride on to die; 

O Christ, thy triumphs now begin 

o'er captive death and conquered sin.

 

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 

The angel-squadrons of the sky 

look down with sad and wondering eyes 

to see the approaching sacrifice.

 

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 

Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh; 

the Father on his sapphire throne 

expects his own anointed Son.

 

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 

In lowly pomp ride on to die; 

bow thy meek head to mortal pain, 

then take, O God, thy power, and reign.

 

11) Intercession: Eva. (Zoom).  Colin YouTube

 

On this Palm Sunday we Praise the Lord: 

Hosanna. 

 

Lord, open the gates of righteousness, so that through our prayers we might follow the King who rode on a donkey on that first Palm Sunday, we give thanks to the Lord. 

 

Gracious God, whose Spirit helps us in our weakness and guides us in our prayers, 

 

We think of our world today 

 

We pray for your church with all its diversities and differences. We pray for Ministers of every denomination that they may preach in spirit and in truth. For those who hold office in our churches, may we do everything we can to be welcoming and helpful. May we serve as witnesses to your presence among us. 

 

We pray for those who are homeless, for those who, tonight, will go to bed hungry, for those who rely on food banks, for those who have lost their jobs and are struggling.  We ask that you will grant us compassion to help those in need. 

 

We pray for those known to us who are in need of our prayers. We ask that you will be close to them and heal, strengthen, comfort  and guide them.  

 

We pray for those who are sick at home, in hospital or in hospice and those who care for them. A few days ago we remembered those who have died in the last year from Covid. 

We praise and thank you for the progress that has been made in the Covid vaccination programme, and we pray for those in our health services who have been put under additional pressure as a result of the pandemic; and those working in care homes. 

We thank you that we have a vaccination available to us, and pray that restrictions will be lifted soon, and that we will be able to get back to a more normal way of life. 

 

We ask a blessing on all those who have lost loved ones, that they will feel your  healing hands on them and be comforted by them. 

 

We pray for the nations of the world. We see the world in pain, we see suffering, neighbours hating one another. We pray for those whose lives have been torn apart by hatred and violence. For leaders and politicians and those who seek to negotiate for peace. 

We ask that you will guide the nations in the ways of justice, liberty and peace, and help them to seek the unity and welfare of all people. 

 

Give to all in authority wisdom to know, and strength to do what is right. 

 

Amen.


 

12) Hymn Make Way Make Way. Graham Kendrick.   Colin

https://youtu.be/gNDCyAB1Mvs

 

Make Way, Make Way, For Christ The King

In Splendour Arrives.

Fling Wide The Gates And Welcome Him

Into Your Lives.

 

Make Way! (Make Way!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

For The King Of Kings!

(For The King Of Kings!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

And Let His Kingdom In!

 

He Comes The Broken Hearts To Heal,

The Prisoners To Free.

The Deaf Shall Hear, The Lame Shall Dance,

The Blind Shall See.

 

Make Way! (Make Way!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

For The King Of Kings!

(For The King Of Kings!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

And Let His Kingdom In!

 

And Those Who Mourn With Heavy Hearts,

Who Weep And Sigh;

With Laughter, Joy And Royal Crown

He’ll Beautify.

 

Make Way! (Make Way!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

For The King Of Kings!

(For The King Of Kings!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

And Let His Kingdom In!

 

We Call You Now To Worship Him

As Lord Of All.

To Have No Other Gods But Him:

Their Thrones Must Fall!

 

Make Way! (Make Way!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

For The King Of Kings!

(For The King Of Kings!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

Make Way! (Make Way!)

And Let His Kingdom In! [2]



 

13) Benediction.       Colin 

And now may the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God.and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit remain with us all, now and forevermore . Amen

 

I am looking forward to worshiping with you in person at our Church in Waarden Road, at 10,30am next Sunday Morning for an Easter Day Service

 

In Christian Love

 

Colin