Monday, April 11, 2011

For April 17, 2011 -- Palm Sunday

CALL TO WORSHIP/OPENING PRAYER
As we gather along the roadside we feel the excitement filling the air.
Something is happening! We want to join in!
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Look! Your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he – humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey!
God, we join in the crowds, the jubilation, and the adoration.
The excitement is contagious, we have high hopes for what may come.
In the time of worship;
feed us in mind and body. Remind us where our loyalty truly lies.
And send us back out to proclaim the coming of the king, in whose name we pray.
Amen

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God, on this day of great joy and excitement,
it is easy to get caught up in the hopes and the shouting.
But there is something else lurking around the corner,
a shadow of doubt and testing. A shadow of death and devastation.
Even as we join in the joy,
we admit that we may also join in the voices of another crowd, shouting NO in the face of your offer of a new world.
For the times we choose the easy parade over the hard road of change. For the days we choose to remain in the shadows...
forgive and strengthen us. Set us free from fear so that we can proclaim openly the coming of your Reign.
...time of silent prayer...
As we wave the branches we proclaim that the Reign of God is here and now! As citizens of God's Kingdom we are forgiven in our doubts and our mis-steps. We are set free of the past to move toward a hope-filled future.
Hosanna! The King is here! Praise and thanks to God! Amen

COMMISSIONING:
We have sung, we have eaten, we have celebrated.
Now we go out to live as citizens of God's kingdom
As we walk forward we see a shadow looming on the horizon
but beyond the shadow we see the brightness of a new day
And so we go out bravely, willing to face the tests that will come.
Ready to proclaim the coming of the one who comes in God's name. Ready to share the Good News of hope in a world too often given to despair.
And we go knowing that the God of Life, of Light, of Love is with us from celebration to cross to celebration.
Hosanna! Amen.

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