This Week’s Theme
The Triumphal Entry
As Jesus journeyed to Jerusalem for the final time before his Passion, he went on ahead of his disciples, going up to the city. Drawing near to Bethany, to Mount Olivet, he sent two of his disciples instructing them to find a colt tied on which no one had ever ridden. He told them to untie it, and bring it back to him. He told them if anyone asked why they were taking it, they were to tell them, “The Lord has need of it.”
So, the two went ahead into the village, found the colt as the Lord said, and as they were untying it, the owners asked them why. They spoke as the Lord instructed them, and brought the colt to the Lord. The disciples threw their cloaks on the colt’s back, and set Jesus upon it. As the Lord rode along, others spread their cloaks on the road. As the Lord Jesus was drawing near to Jerusalem on his way down the Mount of Olives, the entire multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen. They cried out, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees who stood by witnessing this display asked Jesus to rebuke his disciples. Jesus answered them, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
This episode of Jesus’s final entry into Jerusalem fulfills the prophets’ foretelling of Messiah’s coming to the city of God, and verifies Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, the King of glory. This remarkable moment dispels all doubt of Jesus’s identity as the Servant of God, the Messiah, promised to rule as King over his people, Israel. If those disciples present had hushed their praises, the very rocks themselves would have cried out! Israel’s King and God’s Chosen Son entered into the City of David as Lord and King. Let us who believe cry out with the worshiping disciples on the road: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Merciful God, as we enter Holy Week and gather at your house of prayer, turn our hearts again to Jerusalem, to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that united with Christ and all the faithful we may one day enter in triumph the city not made by human hands, the new Jerusalem, eternal in the heavens, where with you and the Holy Spirit, Christ lives in glory forever. Amen.
~ Book of Worship United Church of Christ (The Theological and Worship Ministry Unit, p. 253)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Pss. 103; 108-110; 122; 124
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Palm Sunday: Matt. 21.1-17; Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-48; John 12.12-50
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 118.1-2, 19-29
OT: Isa. 50.4-9
Gospel: Luke 19.28-40
NT: Phil. 2.5-11
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
We praise you, O God, for your redemption of the world through Jesus Christ. Today he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph and was proclaimed Messiah and king by those who spread garments and branches along his way. Let these branches be signs of his victory, and grant that we who carry them may follow him in the way of the cross, that, dying and rising with him, we may enter into your kingdom; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
~ 235 (The Book of Common Worship, p. 253)
Affirmation for the Day
Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah, promised to come by the prophets to reign over his people.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
Metaxas, Martin Luther
Special Church Year Service
Maundy Thursday: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Good Friday: Friday, April 19, 2019
Holy Saturday: Saturday, April 20, 2019