A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Prayers of the People: Read my Palm; Palm Sunday

for Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014 ~ Readings:  The Liturgy of the Palms: Mt 21:1-11; The Liturgy of the Word: Isaiah 50:4-9a, Ps 31:9-16, Phil 2:5-11, Mt 26:14-27:66

        The Sunday before Easter is a Christian Feast Day that commemorates the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on the last week of his life. Coming on the heels of his very public raising of Lazarus from the dead after three days in the tomb in Bethany only two miles away, he begins there and continues on into the gates of the City. The triumphal event is written in all four canonical Gospels and is so significant that it remains an integral part of Christian celebration and worship over two thousand years later.
     Jesus had not yet been to Jerusalem during the short time of his public ministry but he was becoming very well-known and so his arrival on a colt - the foal of a donkey- created quite a stir.  To this day in the Palm Sunday processions we hear hymns and shouts with "Hosanna" ("Hoshana" in Hebrew) - praise to God with great elation as Jesus was greeted by the throngs that lined the road. They sang and shouted Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord [Ps 118: 26]. The people laid their cloaks and branches on the pathway for Jesus as a sign of the highest honor. The palm was the symbol of triumph and victory in the Greco-Roman culture of the times. 
         Another notable symbol is the donkey itself - it would appear to be a very deliberate choice of Jesus sending the disciples to specifically retrieve it. As Jesus was accused later in the week of proclaiming himself "King of the Jews," riding into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey would have symbolized that he was coming in peace, as a ruler would do to show a peaceful arrival rather than a warrior King riding in on a horse.
         The palms, the cloaks and branches on the road, the cheering, exuberance, the presumption by the press of people that Jesus was a prophet and a known miracle worker and, of course, the donkey ~  were all noticed by the Roman occupiers and, the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council who had its own police force and trial court.  
The die is cast.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

~Jesus, Lamb of God,
You entered Jerusalem in a parade of great joy to the waving of palms and exuberance of the people. Then the manipulated crowds turned hostile and, in fear of the mounting bloodlust, even Your friends betrayed You. We have slept through many moments when we could have been in Your presence. Let us walk consciously through this Holy Week and read the familiar passages with fresh eyes and open hearts.

LEADER:         Hosanna to the Son of David!                        
RESPONSE:     Our faith is awakened; our trust is in You.    


~Jesus, Lamb of God,
Free the leaders of this land and our world from the kind of fear-mongering and political maneuvering that led to Your death.  Lighten their hearts, enlighten their minds, and guide them in to Your compassion. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                         Hosanna to the Son of David!                        
                         Our faith is awakened; our trust is in You.   


~ Jesus, Lamb of God,
Shed Your loving grace on all of those who are terribly ill and feeling desperate or hopeless, and for those who worry and care for them. Cradle them in Your benevolent arms and give them peace of heart.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                         Hosanna to the Son of David!                        
                         Our faith is awakened; our trust is in You.   


~Jesus, Lamb of God,
You died and rose to bring us to life in the Glory of God. We yearn for that glory for those we have lost as we look to You for comfort in our grief.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions


                         Hosanna to the Son of David!                        
                         Our faith is awakened; our trust is in You.   


~Jesus, Lamb of God,
As we walk together through this sacred week, embrace and enrich those You have called to lead Your Church.  Inspire their words, their prayers, and their souls that they and we together may draw closer to You. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions
                         
                         Hosanna to the Son of David!                        
                         Our faith is awakened; our trust is in You.   
 


The Celebrant adds:    O Lord, our God, this Holy Week begins in jubilance, revolves around friendship, and moves into confusion, shock, and grief before we burst into the exultant euphoria of Christ’s Resurrection.  Sustain our hope and re-kindle our devotion as we move again into new life in You. We ask this through Your Sacrificial Son and Your Wise and Holy Spirit, who live and reign with You, One God, now and forever.  Amen.





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