a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: you pave the way

Ever constant Love, mixing love and hope together,
you pave the way to the kingdom, but we prefer to stub
our toes on the potholed roads of temptation.  You will
touch the cup of grace to our parched lips, but we seem
to hunger for the ashy taste of bitterness.  You beg us to
learn the songs of salvation, but we hum along with the
chorus death plays in the background of our lives.
Have mercy upon us, God of Holiness.  As you come
to us, you bring healing for our brokenness, peace for
our troubled lives, hope for our doubting minds.  May
we empty ourselves of everything which keeps us from
following you, so we may receive these gifts, and more,
from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

(Silent prayers may be offered.)

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

confession: we kind of like the empire

One: We are mostly the kind of people
who know how to do what must be done, and we do it.
We do it well, and we do well for ourselves.
All: Surely we have earned our success and well-being.
Surely we are entitled to the benefits of our station.
One: We have learned to use the system to our advantage
in order to create a future of opportunity for ourselves.
All: We enjoy the privileges of living in this empire,
and don’t want to do anything
to endanger that privilege.
One: And into that privilege, You speak.
“Those who would be first must be last.”
“Those who want to be great must serve.”
All: In the midst of the empire,
You offer a vision of Your kingdom.
“Let the little children come.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers.”
One: Forgive our opportunistic ways, Lord,
and guide us to follow your way,
though it is not the easy way.
All: Give us grace to hear You.
Give us freedom to trust Your promise.
Give us patience and humility
to yield our privilege to your purpose.
We pray in the name of the One
who calls us to this life. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

CTW: palm sunday

L:    We come to prepare for the holiest of weeks.
P:    We will journey through praise, with joy on our lips;
we will travel through betrayal and death,
cradling hope deep in our hearts
L:    Jesus leads us through this week, and we will follow,
for he is the life we long for,
he is the Word who sustains us.
P:    We wave palm branches in anticipation,
we lay our love before him, to cushion his walk
L:    Setting aside all power, glory, and might, he comes:
modeling humility and obedience for all of us.
P:    Hosanna!  Hosanna!
Blessed is the One who brings us
the kingdom of God.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

Looking Ahead: Palm Sunday

Alright friends, here we go!!! It’s time to work toward Sunday…Palm Sunday! Are you reading Mark’s sparse yet thrilling Entry Into Jerusalem? Are you focusing perhaps on the psalm instead, for a new twist on Palm Sunday? Are you heading for the passion story? Or something else entirely?

Let’s heat this discussion up (even as the weather cools down for many of us!). Drop your words, phrases, seeds, sparks, ideas, hopes, and dreams for a creative Palm Sunday into the comments, and let’s create together!

 

 

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Just two weeks to go until we wave our palm branches and shout Hosanna! What are you thinking about this year? What hymns, images, or words are sparking your imagination? Will you stick with palms, move the service from palms to passion, or go passion all the way?

How will you set up Holy Week this year? Share your ideas, be they one word, one phrase, one image, a feeling, or anything else (half-formed, unformed, or fully formed) and let’s create together!

looking on–closing responses for Palm Sunday

Submitted by Rev. Jason Carle, Overland Park Presbyterian Church.

One: Jesus’ face turns toward the cross
All: Even if we wish to look away, we shall not.
One: We will watch what comes though our hearts may break.
All: In the breaking, we shall be made whole.
One: This is our blessing: that Love endured death for us.
All: And then, there was something new. . .

confession: Palm Sunday expectations

A prayer of confession for Palm Sunday. (Part of the “Choices on the Way” series, with the theme this week being “My Way — The Highway”). Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church.

One: You ride in with humble glory,
All: and we wave our palm branches,
shouting and dancing our prayer of Hosanna.

One: We join our voices and hearts with the crowd,
All: hoping that you will do what we expect of you.
One: But your way is not always glorious,
not always cheering crowds,
not always a parade of victory.
All: Lead us, Lord, to know your way,
and to walk with you on any road you travel.

CTW: Palm Sunday

A call to worship for Palm Sunday, based on Psalm 118. (Part of the “Choices on the Way” series, with the theme this week being “My Way — The Highway”). Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church.

One: Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good!
God’s steadfast love endures forever!
All: Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!
One: Shout Hosanna, for the Lord is coming!
Line the festival road with waving branches!
All: We wave palm branches, praying and praising
as we walk God’s way.