Holy Week 1: Palm Sunday

Well, to paraphrase Slade” It’s HOLY WEEK!
This is one of those times of the Church Calendar that I always find myself wishing I had made more of, but which always actually catches me by surprise and unprepared.

According to the Wiki:

However, most Protestants conduct more informal celebrations of Holy Week, usually including sermons about the last week of Christ’s life, and possibly some special services on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and or Easter Sunday. Lutherans, Anglicans and other Protestants in the catholic tradition observe Holy Week much as the Roman Catholic Church does. Of Protestant fellowships, perhaps the Holy Week services [Passion Week] of the Moravian Church are the most extensive, as the Congregation follows the life of Christ through His final week in daily services dedicated to readings from a harmony of the Gospel stories, responding to the actions in hymns, prayers and litanies, beginning on the eve of Palm Sunday and culminating in the “Easter Morning” or Easter Sunrise service begun by the Moravians in 1732.

This seems pretty a cool way to go about this special week to me, yet in most of the Churches I have been involved in we pretty much ignore the beginning of the week altogether – Yesterday at CC we hardly mentioned Palm Sunday at all, largely because we were finishing a sermon series and it made more sense to finish then than postpone until after Easter one session.

Yet is does seem something of a shame to have missed this opportunity.

Palm Sunday can speak to us on many levels, not least about our relationship with God. When we first come to faith we welcome Christ in to our lives in ways similar to the cheering crowds in Jerusalem that first Easter, yet as we grow in faith there are times we forget that first joy and instead try to hide or ignore God – perhaps even deny we know him much like Peter. There are times when we deliberately or inadvertently turn away or ignore Jesus in our lives in order to pursue our own agendas.

Yet we will always have the hope of Easter morning. When we remember Easter morning we welcome Christ into our lives once more with cheering and shouting ‘Hosanna – King of Kings’.

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday bookend the journey of Jesus to his death and resurrection. they also bookend our walk with him in faith – for every Palm Sunday in our lives there is a Good Friday or despair and betrayal but followed by the Joy of an Easter Day of returning redeemed to him.


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