Armadale UCA

Welcome.

Here is an order of service you might like to use while we cannot meet in person.

You might like to offer it at 9.30. on Sunday morning. Or you might prefer to come to it at a different time of the day – or even a different day! - when you have time to sit and reflect.

On Tuesday mornings, 10-11 a.m., if you wish to, you can join me in a Zoom conversation. (An email invitation will be sent to all on our email address list.) Or you might like to email or ring me.

These are strange and unsettling times – and God has things to say to us; there are things we need to hear. So, as St. Benedict encourages us, let us `listen with the ears of our heart`.

Palm/Passion Sunday

5.4.20

Introit (read out loud or sing, if you know the tune)

`Make way! Make way!

For Christ the king in splendour arrives.

Fling wide the gate and welcome Him into your lives.`

Graham Kendrick

(You can listen to this song at https://youtu.be/alCQ7fb0hEA)

Prayer

Loving God, we are come to worship You -

God above all gods, Lord above all lords.

Still our hearts. Calm our minds.

Fill us with Your Spirit of gentleness, peace and hope.

Pause

Come to us, as we come to You, in these quiet moments.

To You be all praise and glory.

Pause

At this time of isolation and distancing, forgive our fear,

our lack of trust in Your promise that You are with us always – no matter what.

Pause

Forgive us, and grant us trusting, faithful hearts in You, our trustworthy, faithful God.

Pause

In and because of Jesus Christ, for this and all our other sins, we rejoice at Christ`s words of grace to each of us `Your sins are forgiven`.

Thanks be to God.

Readings

read these quietly – or read them softly out loud

Isaiah 50: 4-9a; Ps. 50: 4-9a; Matthew 21: 1-11

Reflection – Majestic meekness

Palm Sunday heralds the beginning of a week of reflection and wonder as the story of Jesus` earthly life reaches its conclusion.

Jerusalem is in uproar. All the tensions and turmoil meet in a roiling, seething crowd gone up to observe the Passover. Everyone is on high alert: the religious, political and military leaders, and the people, long suppressed, oppressed, and exploited. A confluence and congruence of anxious, excited and excitable people.

The situation is tense, the probability of serious trouble high.

How contemporary and evocative of our world today!

In Italy – the singing has stopped. The awful reality and privations are beginning to seep into society. People are afraid – not so much of the virus itself, as of the ensuing poverty – the result of the virus.

Unrest. Anger. Despair. Racism. Blame. Scapegoating.

An increasingly angry mob…

Who are we in the crowd? Stocking up on toilet rolls? Labelling the virus `Chinese`? Naming? Blaming? Shaming? Slobbing? Blobbing? Dobbing?

In Holy Week we to find out who Jesus is – and who we are.

Palm Sunday is a day of loud acclamation and adulation: an excited joyous crowd welcomes Jesus as the long hoped for saviour.

We can rejoice with them and welcome King Jesus with joy.

But it would be unwise not to consider the darker forces at work beyond and beneath such unfettered adulation.

Within the week, an angry, vicious crowd will cry out for Him to be crucified, a common criminal. Where will we stand then?

It`s easy to follow Jesus when it is a culturally acceptable thing to do.

It is quite something else when the prevailing culture turns.

What then? Will we follow the crowd?

Holy week asks much of us. We have to make up our minds about Jesus – and about ourselves. When it comes to Jesus as King - where do we stand?

Will we stand? Will we stand up?

Will we stand up to be counted with the One Who comes in the Name of the Lord?

Whatever it costs us? (It may cost us everything…It will cost us everything…)

Will we stand out? Will we be outstanding for Jesus?

Or will we slink away muttering our disappointment because He wasn`t who we thought He was, the kind of saviour we wanted? Never mind the kind of saviour we need. Time – and possibly the coronavirus – will tell.

In prophetic meekness, Jesus the King, comes riding on a donkey….

Never mis-take meekness for weakness.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit .

Aas it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.

He Qi – Entry into Jerusalem

`The Lord helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame`.

Isaiah 50: 7

Prayers for the World

For all who are distressed, desparate, dying…gentle comfort.

For all who are working hard at this time - and for all who are not working at all… positive perseverance

For child care workers, for cleaners, for checkout workers and shelf stackers…protection and kindness. Lord in Your mercy…Hear our prayer.

For scientists looking for treatments and vaccines…patience and diligence.

For all health care workers in hospitals, aged care facilities, in homes for those with disabilities… enduring strength.

For aid workers – and all who face this pandemic without the comfort and safety of home…resilient hope.

For those on the streets of Melbourne and all the big cities of the world…places and people of welcome. Lord in Your mercy…Hear our prayer.

For all who mourn – Your consoling peace

For all caught up in war – Your quiet peace

For all who are sick and afraid –Your healing peace

And for each of us as we give thanks and remember those who have walked the way of Christ`s peace before us – the peace of God which passes all human understanding Lord in Your mercy…Hear our prayer.

Say out loud quietly and slowly

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.

Save us in the time of trial and deliver us from evil.

For Yours is the kingdom the power and the glory

Forever and ever.

Amen

Ride on! Ride on in majesty!

Composer Stanley L. Osbourne writes of this hymn as "Objective, robust, confident, and stirring, it possesses that peculiar combination of tragedy and victory which draws the singer into the very centre of the drama. It is this which gives the hymn its power and its challenge".[

(You can listen to this song at https://youtu.be/MD9rMkIS1yw)

Ride on! ride on in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes hosanna cry;
O Saviour meek, pursue thy road
with palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on! ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
O Christ, thy triumphs now begin
o’er captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on! ride on in majesty!
The angel-squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wondering eyes
to see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on! ride on in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;
the Father on his sapphire throne
expects his own anointed Son.

Ride on! ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
bow thy meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O God, thy power, and reign.

Words: Henry Hart Milman Tune: Winchester New – William Henry Monk

May the blessing of God the Father re-create you.

May the blessing of God the Son en-courage you,

May the blessing of God the Holy Spirit grant you comfort, hope and peace

today and always.

Amen.