This weekend we enter into Holy Week. It is the most significant period on the Christian calendar – even more significant that Christmas! The first Sunday of Holy Week is commonly called either Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday.
- Those who call it Palm Sunday tend to focus on the entry of Christ into Jerusalem to shouts of: “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21.9)
- Those who refer to the day as Passion Sunday tend to focus on Jesus’ suffering soon to be endured on the Cross.
It’s important to capture the irony of this day:
- This is the day on which Jesus entered the city in triumph! – but as a part of his journey to the Cross.
- This is the day in which the crowd’s cries of “Hosanna” would soon turn to “Crucify him!”
Our service this week, for the most part, follows the same pattern as has each of the past few weeks that we have been dispersed for our worship. The primary difference being that the elements of the liturgy are designed to lead us to reflect upon Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem – toward the Cross. As we have encouraged each of the previous weeks, if you know of someone who lives alone, or if you are able to connect with other families, invite others to join your worship time through Zoom, Skype, etc. We also encourage that you print out the .pdf of the worship outline, so that each person has the tools for participating in the service. Take a look at the service, and assign the various parts, before you sit down together. It might be even more important to assign parts in advance this week than in previous week. You’ll notice that the reading of the passage in preparation for the message is designed to be a dialogue, to reflect the conversation that is taking place between God and the prophet Habakkuk.
As previous weeks, the videos of the songs and the message will be embedded into our April 5 Worship Service Outline, and will be available for viewing by 8am on Sunday April 5. These are provided as resources to be used when you come to them in their respective places in the service.
As we begin this Holy Week, let us repeatedly remind ourselves of the message this week declares, as expressed by the Apostle John in 1 John 4.10-11:
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.