Friday, March 31, 2017

Palm Sunday, Liturgy of the Palms (A), April 9, 2017 - Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 and Matthew 21:1-11

       Palmesel, 15th c, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cloisters Collection 1955

Our Parentage

O Church! Do not forget our parentage,
Our roots in Israel of old,
Our parents cried, "Hosanna" to the LORD,
A plea to save - and now!  So bold
Were they, they cried it yet again that day
When Jesus rode his donkey in,
While from the city's other side, the king -
Who did not save - with pomp and din
Of horse and armor tried to claim the power
That oft has captured human hearts;
But those who know the Lord, the Lord of love, 
Will never from this God depart.

Scott L. Barton

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
(Here's one way you could set these verses as a response between leader and congregation.)

L: O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, 
P: "His steadfast love endures forever.”
Open to me the gates of righteousness, 
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
L: This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.
P: I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
L: The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
P: This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
L: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
P: Save us, we beseech you, O LORD! O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!
L: Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. 
P: We bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light. 
L: Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.
P: You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.
ALL: O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

+ + +

Matthew 21:1-11

The Donkey in the Room

We like to keep our politics
Apart from Sunday church;
And woe to preachers who would dare
The worship to besmirch
With commentary on the powers
That tend to rule the day;
And yes, it can be overdone -
And peoples' trust betray;
But Jesus, on parade that day,
Lampooned the power and might
Of all, like Caesar, who in great
Display would take delight;
He's making fun of those who lord
It over people's hearts;
This Jesus, not just meek and mild,
Is brave, and heav'nly smart.

Scott L. Barton

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 fulfill 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."

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