5th April 2020
Although we can't bless and receive Palm Crosses as usual this Sunday, I am sure that many of you will have a Palm Cross in your house from previous years. Why not display it in your window (thank you to Mary Lowerson for this suggestion) or carry it with you if you take a daily walk?
Click here if you'd like to download this reflection in PDF format.
Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race sent your Son our Saviour Jesus
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility’
and also be partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
Gospel: Matthew 21.1-11
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.' This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 'Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, 'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!' When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, 'Who is this?'
The crowds were saying, 'This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.'
Palm Sunday sets the context in which we engage with the Passion story as we go through Holy Week. We are invited to contemplate the harrowing suffering and death of Christ with the sounds of triumph still ringing in our ears, the cheering of the disciples as he enters Jerusalem: 'Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!' They may have been expecting a very different kind of ruler, but their instinct to celebrate was right – what lay ahead was a great victory, greater than they could ever have imagined.
So as you walk with Christ over these coming days, let the echoes of those shouts of joy stay with you. They hold in them the promise that the story does not end in the agony and silence of the cross. Beyond it lies the astonishing truth that we proclaim afresh each Easter morning:
'Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life!'
In your prayers, please remember those who are sick: David, Michael, Christine, Carol, Harriet, Shelley, Jane, Fiona, Robert and Rod.
Also Dee who has recently died, her husband Don and her family.
A prayer in time of pandemic (from Richard Rohr)
Lord God, we ask that all who are affected by this virus be held in your loving care. In this time of uncertainty, help us to know what is ours to do. We know you did not cause this suffering, but that you are with us in it and through it. Help us to recognise your presence in acts of kindness, in moments of silence, and in the beauty of the created world. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
St Anne’s Parish Prayer
Heavenly Father, whose love surrounds us all on every side, bless St Anne’s parish church and all who worship there. Give us a vision of all we are called to be, courage to reach out to those around us and the spirit of love to unite all our efforts. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.