Rocking The Foundations Palm Sunday Worship Sheet
Updated: Sep 1
Words from Revd. David Burrow
Pause as you come into God’s presence; focus on his love for you:
Although Jesus of Nazareth was God, he did not claim equality with God.
Jesus Christ is Lord!
He emptied himself. He became the poorest, the least powerful of human beings.
Jesus Christ is Lord!
Because God willed it, he even died the agonising death on the cross.
Jesus Christ is Lord!
So God has lifted him up above anyone else who has ever been.
Jesus Christ is Lord!
And the whole universe will come to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord!
MP 307 I will enter his gates
Piano Version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTAUxiBbyjE
Based on Zechariah 9:9 & Psalm 118:26-29
Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
We are joyful and we sing our praises to you, God our Father, God whose presence fills earth and heaven, because when you came in triumph to save us, you came humbly and gently, and in peace.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and he has given us light.
Bind up the festal procession with branches, up to the altar.
We bless you, Jesus Christ, coming to us from God our creator.
Through you God has lit up our lives.
We sing to you, lifting our hearts and hands and our voices.
We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good.
God’s steadfast love endures forever. Amen
Prayer of confession
Jesus, still centre of the universe, we come to you battered and weary, acknowledging that our lives are full of inconsistencies and weaknesses.
Our lips give you praise, but our lives often contradict what we say.
We claim to be your loyal disciples but so often when things get tough, we run away.
We say we are willing to suffer with you and for you, but so often we fail to recognise your call to stand by you. Yet we still long for your truth and your love to direct us.
Forgive, we pray, the hurt we do to you and to others.
Give us ears that are open to your call. Make us impatient with whatever stands between us and all you want from us, so that we may follow you into Jerusalem and to what lies ahead, closely, in peace, with tenderness and awe, this Holy Week and every week.
By rising from death our Lord Jesus Christ defeated all that separates us from himself and the last enemy, death. We know that it is his delight to forgive whoever turns to him.
Let us receive his forgiveness with joy.
Rejoice in God’s presence and join the Jerusalem crowds as they cry, “Hosanna”
MP 242 Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbQYhHm7zoY This version has a little extra!
Or for something a little different try this one:
Read: Matthew 21:1-17
Rocking the Foundations
The journey to Jerusalem was over; the almost secret journey, in which Jesus had avoided crowds, confrontation with enemies and even contact with sympathisers.
Once he arrived, though, there was no more secrecy; he threw caution to the wind.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem the people shouted:
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Save us now, O Son of David’.
That song had political implications for both the state and the religious authorities.
Son of David: Jesus is of royal lineage and a possible threat to the authority of Rome.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Jesus was acclaimed as God’s representative even the coming Messiah – God’s anointed one.
‘Hosanna’ means ‘save us’. But for Jesus it was not from the Romans; Jesus comes to liberate the people from the powers of sin and death.
Jesus’ presence worried the religious and political authorities. He threatened to rock the foundations of all they held dear.
What was Jesus playing at?
Then Jesus entered the Temple. He acted with authority in the central shrine of his people; the place where the Jewish leaders held sway.
The Temple was built as a series of courtyards separated by high walls. The outer courtyard was as far as Gentiles could go, within that was the court of the women; they and children could go no further. Next was the court of Israel beyond which Jewish laymen could not venture, then the sanctuary which was for the priests and finally the Holy of Holies in the centre.
Traders worked in the outer courtyard changing worshippers’ money to Temple money. There was also the buying and selling of animals for sacrifice. Imagine carting your lamb or pigeon for miles to sacrifice! Much easier to buy one when you arrived! Unsurprisingly, given human nature, people were being ripped off. Traders in a place of worship, even robbery; no wonder Jesus objected.
In the Old Testament – Zechariah 14:21 – we’re told that one day there would no longer be a trader in the house of the LORD of hosts. God’s Temple was to be a place of worship for everyone, including Gentiles. Not a market!
Jesus decided it must stop! And stop it he did. The traders’ foundations were well and truly rocked!
Matthew then adds something extra to the story (verses 14-17). Everyone agrees Jesus drove people out of the Temple, but Matthew adds that Jesus then invited others in. Out went the traders and the accountants and in came the blind, the lame and the children. The authorities were outraged!
Any disabled priest was not allowed to offer sacrifices and this idea had been extended to include others. Why was the lame man begging at the gates of the Temple? Because he wasn’t allowed in. The blind, the lame, were all marginalized, excluded, kept outside and so were the children.
Jesus includes those who were excluded; he welcomed in those whom the religious authorities kept out.
That figures for Jesus. Later in Holy Week Jesus spoke of the homeless, the naked, the prisoners, all who were vulnerable on the fringes of society. Care for them and you care for Jesus.
In rocking the foundations of the political and religious establishment Jesus made a statement for which he would pay dearly! Only a few days later the religious leaders, with the crowd on their side demanded his crucifixion and Rome, in the person of Pilate acquiesced.
The Challenge of Palm Sunday and Holy Week:
In these days of lock down, are our foundations are being rocked?
Many of the things we thought were important have been taken away. Are the things we value built on a solid foundation or are they being rocked by current events?
People are saying that things will never be the same. I hope they’re right. Watching Jesus as he rides into Jerusalem and cleanses the Temple, we are reminded of who and what is of value.
Relationships, lifestyle and faith are all being challenged. Religious leaders, politicians and all in authority need to take note.
There is now no doubt who the key workers in society are. Every day they put themselves and their loved ones at risk as they serve the rest of us. They are the people on whom our communities are built.
We also know who the vulnerable are and how they need help and can be helped. Jesus does not leave the key workers or the vulnerable outside the walls. He invites them in.
The temples we previously put our trust in are being cleansed and their foundations rocked. Thankfully God can bring good out of every situation (Romans 8:28). So, when we are willing to be cleansed, build our foundations on Jesus and strive not to miss what God is saying to us, then we will find that we can build a different society with joyful confidence knowing that in all things he is with us.
MP 162 From heaven you came https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VeQrWmvCms
Shame about the ending!
Ask: Offer your own prayers of intercession to God
The Lord’s Prayer
Yield to God as you prepare for Holy Week and sing or listen to:
MP 580 Ride on, ride on in majesty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo5pfl6z6lA
Step lightly into this Holy week.
Be ready to find holiness in unexpected places, and walk lovingly, for the love of our crucified Saviour opens the door to all things on earth and in heaven.