For Sunday April 1, 2012
Year B, Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday :: Violet :: Mark 11:1–11 :: Psalm 118:1–2, 19–29
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 118
L: Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the LORD.
P: We bless you from the house of the LORD.
L: The LORD is God, and has given us light.
P: Bind the procession with branches up to the altar.
L: This is the day that the LORD has made;
P: Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
The day has come, O God, when we celebrate your triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is easy to get caught up in the shouts of Hosanna, and the Jubilation of the day, and forget the week ahead. Guide us in this time of worship to not only celebrate your anticipated triumph, but to see the road ahead. Touch our hearts and souls as we seek to worship you in honor and glory.
Today is the beginning of our Easter Special Offering. This offering is arguably one of the most important ones of the year. It supports the work of our General Ministries. Missionaries, Delegates, Benevolence, Program, and so much more depend on this offering. If you have heard the story of a Missionary, or a Care Center, or a General Ministry Program, or a partnership ministry of the church this year and it has touched your heart, this offering is the one which makes a difference. When we talk about our worldwide presence, we support that with the Easter Special offering. We will now receive the tithes and offerings which help to make the Disciples Worldwide presence happen.
Abundantly giving God, we bring before you our gifts. Use them to multiply your presence throughout the world. Grant each of us a heart of celebration for the difference we know these gifts will make. Use each of us to spread your story as well. For we offer these gifts and ourselves in the Name of Christ our Lord.
We come to this table today in an awkward situation. We have celebrated with shouts of Hosanna, the glory of the coming King. We celebrate with all of Jerusalem the anticipated triumph. Yet as we come to the table, we know the triumph is not one which the Israelites expected. The triumph came not as the world does, but only as God could do. So do we let that reality subdue our message of celebration and hope? I say “no,” we celebrate all the more because we know the rest of the story, all of the glory and the hope which is to come. This week there will be ample time to remember the lows, and I hope you will, but today we lift the cup in celebration. Hosanna! Blessed is the One who gives of himself, for the sake of God and each of us. Amen.
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