While we are currently without the use of our building for Sunday services we are praying a short version of Morning Prayer together every Sunday morning at 10.30. This is being live streamed and is available to watch again on our Facebook page. These short services are being produced by the Vicar and Reader Terry Hawes and you will find the words of the latest one below.
Pastoral Worker Marney Hearn will be sharing a favourite prayer or a thought and you will find that at the bottom of this page.
St John the Evangelist
Sunday Prayers for Palm Sunday 2020
Introduction (opening prayers)
Lord Jesus, on this day we remember
you rode into your own city
amongst the cheering crowds
to complete your work as Saviour;
to die on the cross and to rise again.
Come into this church today
we pray, scattered as we are.
Come to rule in our worship, in our lives
and in our witness to you.
Hymn: Rejoice the Lord is King https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N0iVysrykU
God shows his love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Let us then show our love for him by confessing our sins in penitence and faith
We are often slow to follow the example of Christ. Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
We often fail to be known as Christ’s disciples. Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
We often fall to walk the way of the cross. Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
May the God of love bring us back to himself, forgive us our sins,
and assure us of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
In thankfulness for God’s forgiveness we pray to be closer to Christ in his suffering and in his glory. We keep a moment of silence.
True and humble king,
hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you
on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory. Amen.
We say the following prayer together. If you have a palm cross you might like to hold it.
God our Saviour,
whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah
to suffer and to die;
let these palms be for us signs of his victory
and grant that we who bear them in his name
may ever hail him as our King,
and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Reading: Matthew 21:1-11 (Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem)
21 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.[a]” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd[b] spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
I found myself watching a programme on Ancient Egypt the other day which showed archaeologists digging at 3 or 4 different sites. The incredible preparations that were made to ensure that the Pharaoh’s (the kings) were both remembered for all eternity and had what they needed in the afterlife, were simply breath-taking as were the wealth and power that were needed to make it happen.
It was one version of kingship (military might, magnificence, dominion). We have another today with our constitutional monarchs – and yet another, but a very different sort of king in Jesus Christ.
Today is Palm Sunday, and in our reading from Matthew’s gospel we find Jesus riding in triumph into Jerusalem over the Mount of Olives on the back of a donkey with the Temple (a massive building) looming in front of him. Around him the ‘very large crowd’ are going wild. They throw their cloaks on the road and cut branches from the trees to wave; extravagant gestures both, done to welcome royalty.
Try and put yourself in the scene. See the crowds, picture what Jesus looked like. Imagine yourself as one of his followers, proud to be associated with someone who was creating such a stir. That didn’t last long of course, but for now Jesus is greeted as a king, proclaimed as the Messiah that the people have been waiting for; the son of David sent to free them from their enemies.
What kind of king is this though! No army at his back, just his footsore followers. No magnificent charger, just a trudging donkey. Jesus’ kingship is not about success or outer appearance or show or wealth or power. Look again at that figure on the donkey, see Jesus’ humility, his lack of pretension; his gentleness. These things are at the heart of his kingship.
What kind of crowd is this as well? They shout hosanna, a familiar word to us but don’t underestimate it. It’s not just a shout of praise, it means save me, help me. This crowd isn’t about having a good time, it’s seeking salvation, forgiveness, freedom. Aren’t we as well?
What do we need to be saved from in our own lives? The mistakes we’ve made, our failures to live the best lives we can. What does our world need to be saved from as well? The effects our greed is having on the environment, our hurry to solve conflicts with violence?
And then Jesus enters Jerusalem. The whole city is ‘stirred’ (or literally shaken, the same word from which we get seismic), but whether this is because its people want to enthusiastically join in with the crowds who have accompanied Jesus on his way into the city, or because they are filled with disquiet isn’t clear. Maybe, given what happens it’s the latter.
There we leave him. Watch his retreating figure as he disappears into the great city. Never forget the sight, a model of humility, a virtue reinforced when he washed his disciples’ feet the night before he died to set them (and us) an example of service to others. Never forget him, coming to bring salvation to the world. Amen.
Let us declare our faith in God.
We believe in God the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.
We believe in God the Son, who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who strengthens us with power from on high.
We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayers (you might like to say Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer in between tparagraphs)
Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
We praise and thank you Lord God of all creation that you have created us out of your love and for your love. Help us to welcome you with songs of Hosanna, knowing that you are our rock and our salvation. May we use our talents and lives to help others and for your glory.
Lord, your Church is now scattered from its buildings to our homes. Help us, your people, to hold fast to our faith and may we continue to reflect your love and peace.
You rode into Jerusalem Lord for the cause of truth and the sake of justice. Help the nations of the world to work for justice and for peace. Comfort all who are broken by war and violent conflict. Strengthen those who are working to eradicate coronavirus.
Come and rule in our lives Lord, so that there may be peace in our hearts and in our homes. We bring before you the troubles and distress of peoples and nations, the hungry and homeless, the broken and despairing and, at this time, those suffering through the effects of coronavirus. Hear our prayers in Jesus’ name we pray.
Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Pray now for your own needs as you feel led. We end with the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Hymn: Ride on, ride on in majesty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD9rMkIS1yw
The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you now and for evermore. Amen.
Reflection © Vivien Gisby 2020. Service and prayers from New Patterns of Worship © Archbishop’s Council 2002
Pastoral worker Marney Hearn would like to share this on Saturday 4th April 2020:
John tells us in this scripture 13:1-17, Jesus washed the disciples feet. The act not only showed humility or service towards others, it also showed, forgiveness and love.
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
(From John 13:1-17 – New International Version, NIV)