Palm Sunday Service

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Today is Palm Sunday, when we remember Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey – and we had a Palm3donkey present, by courtesy of Smithton Culloden church!

 

John read the story (Luke 19:28-44), we watched a brief clip from an animated video called The Miracle Maker, showing the group of jolly, excited figures surrounding the figure on the donkey as he approached the city walls of Jerusalem, and then Duncan gave us a brief talk.

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Who was there, that very first Palm Sunday, apart from Jesus? Well, there was the donkey, Duncan said. Jesus chose to ride on a donkey because it was a sign that he was coming as King.  Jesus was consciously fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9:

See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

And then the donkey showed that Jesus was coming in peace. When Jewish kings rode on horseback, they were riding to war. The donkey was a symbol of peace – for example, Solomon rode on a donkey the day he was recognised as King (1 Kings 1:33)

And then there were the disciples, who had been with Jesus through good times and trying times over the previous three years.  Jesus needed the help of these friends that day – to obtain the donkey, to prepare it for him to ride on.

And then there was the crowd of folk streaming into Jerusalem for the Passover celebration.  They joined in the shouting and praise for Jesus.  They may not in every case have recognised the implications of what they were saying, but Jesus accepted their praise none the less.

And then Jonathan got us busy, for this was to be an interactive service. There were four ‘stations’ around the church, which we could visit.

There was the ‘donkey’ station, where we remembered that Jesus came as a humble peacemaker, reflected on how we could make humility and peacemaking key traits in our lives, and write prayers on the roll of paper beneath the donkey’s feet.

There was the ‘disciple’ station, where we reflected about our role as disciples – ordinary people following Jesus – and how we could do as Jesus’ first disciples did, and show others who Jesus is.

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There was the ‘crowd’ station, where we reflected on living in a way which gives praise to God even though there’s lots we don’t understand.

And finally there was a station where we could cut out a foot-shape on card, and write our name or a prayer on it, as a symbol of our willingness to be humble disciples living lives of prayer and worship.

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For those of us who didn’t wish to visit the stations, there were strips of paper and a video showing us how to transform each strip into a cross.

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