Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For April 5, 2009 -- Palm Sunday

CALL TO WORSHIP
Look! Over there! Can you see it?
What? All we see are branches waving?
Listen! In the air! Can you hear it?
What? All we hear is people cheering?
Stop! Open your senses! Can you feel it?
What? That strange electricity in the air?
Yes. The branches, the cheering, the electricity. Something exciting is happening. Hope is coming. The king is near.
What are we waiting for? Let’s go join the excitement!
Good idea! Let us worship together in prayer and speech and song…

OPENING PRAYER
God, today we join with the crowds by the roadside,
cheering and waving in excitement.
As we remember the story today walk with us on the road,
filling us with hope for the coming of the Lord, pushing us to make the path ready.
But also we need our hearts opened to your wisdom,
because we remember that this triumphant parade leads to a bad end.
In this time of prayer and singing and story remind us what kind of kingdom we are actually awaiting.
and forgive us when we fall victim to dreams of glory without the shadow of the cross.
As forgiven and forgiving people we join in the raggedy band parading to the promised land.
And so we march with the one who leads the parade, saying the words he taught his friends…

Offering Prayer
God of palm branches and cheering crowds, the journey of Holy Week reminds us that our life is not our own. As we embark on that path again this year we offer from our abundance to the service of your love. May these gifts help to bring your reign to reality in the lives of your people. Amen

COMMISSIONING AND BENEDICTION
We have joined with the crowds in the cheering and celebrations.
We look forward to the coming time of glory.
As part of the hope-filled crowd we go to tell those around us of the possibilities that lie before us.
We share the promise of the Peaceable Kingdom found in a king on a donkey.
But off in the distance a shadow looms, a threat to all our hopes.
Nevertheless we will walk boldly towards the shadow, trusting in the light that lies beyond it.
Go out into this Holy Week to walk the path that leads to the cross. Walk that path knowing that we do not walk it alone: the Crucified One goes with us, the Creator is there to strengthen us, the Holy Spirit fills us with hope everlasting. Amen.

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