Sunday, April 17, 2011 8:45 AM
Sunday, April 17, 2011 11:15 AM
Holy Eucharist and Liturgy of the Palms
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Palm Sunday 2011
Both services webcast live, beginning at 8:30 am.
Worship on Palm Sunday begins with glad shouts of “Hosanna!” and moves to shouts of “Crucify him!” We journey with Jesus as he is welcomed in triumph upon entering Jerusalem and then is utterly rejected and crucified at Golgotha outside the gates of the city.
We enter Holy Week today with prayers, music, and ceremonies that would be recognized by ancient pilgrims to Jerusalem walking the way of the cross. This is not merely the story of Jerusalem two thousand years ago—it is our story, too. We have a part in this great act by which God redeems the whole of creation through Jesus Christ. Today we are part of the passion of Christ and through it we see the reality of God’s saving action in our lives.
Hosanna means “save us.” The jarring intersection of triumph and defeat encompassed in this worship shows us that when the power of self and the powers of this world fail utterly it is in this humble, frail Jesus of Nazareth that the power of God is revealed. We shout hosanna not knowing what it will bring. It brings the cross, at once a terrible death and a throne of mercy for us. We are the children whom God so loved that the only Son was sent to live and die as one of us. There is no moment of defeat, of alienation, of brokenness, or even of death itself that can keep God from us. The Palm Sunday service ends in silence, with this hope of love claiming us.