Palm/Passion Sunday- Week of March 28, 2021
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: Holy God, you sent your son Jesus to model your love among us. Guide us as we journey with Jesus to the cross and the tomb this week, and open our hearts to worship him. Amen.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice on the Way of Love is WORSHIP. This week is Holy Week, a time when we worship as we reflect on Jesus’ death on the cross. How will you worship during this Holy Week?
Adult and Small Child
Read: Mark 11:1-11
Reflect: Today is a very important day. Today we remember how Jesus came to the city of Jerusalem and we get ready to celebrate the most important week of our year in our church community – the week that we call Holy Week.
When Jesus came into Jerusalem, people waved palm branches and yelled out words of praise and blessing. It must have felt like a parade! In Jesus’ time, kings and other important people would have entered a city this way. Are there important or special people in your life that you like to celebrate in the way that the people celebrated Jesus?
The people also said a special word – “Hosanna!” to show how excited they were to see Jesus. What special words would you say to show how excited you are when you see someone you love?
When we gather together in worship, we say special words like “Hosanna” and “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” because it is fun to share joy with others about how much God loves us.
Respond: Today is a great day to have a household parade! With an adult or others in your house, take turns having one-person parades! Each person gets a turn to pretend to be like Jesus – coming into Jerusalem. You can wear something special or hold a cross or other symbol that reminds you of Jesus’ love. Then others in the house – even if it’s just one other person – can wave something (branches you find outside, paper colored like a palm leaf, streamers or any festive party decorations you can find) and shout special words of joy to praise and bless the person in the parade. Then switch roles so that each person gets a chance to be the one praised and blessed by the parade! How does it make you feel to be the one who is praised and blessed during the parade? Sharing joy and celebrating with others helps us to dwell with God.
- Katy Denning
Adult and Elementary
Read: Mark 11:1-11
Reflect: I love roller coasters! I love that feeling as the roller coaster climbs to the peak; it's anticipation and excitement put together! Then, once we are careening down and I feel the air rushing to my face, I just have to scream and put my hands in the air!
Have you ever been so excited that you just have to shout? Shouting and waving your hands in the air are signs of joy and happiness. Today is Palm Sunday and we remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people waved branches and shouted, "Hosanna!" (Mark 11:9, NRSV) The shouting and waving were signs of joy and happiness. The people were participating in acts of worship. As I said before, I like roller coasters and I shout when I am on them, but I have an entirely different shout when I worship God.
Respond: Make your own palms. Using construction paper, cut out leaves and then glue them together. You can wave these leaves in the air. Also, listen to the liturgy when you are at worship. Did you hear anyone say, "Hosanna!" Or, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord?”
- Imani Driskell
Adult and Youth
Read: Mark 11:1-11
Reflect: I ask a lot of questions. And really, if someone asks us to do something that seems a little “out there” shouldn’t we ask lots of questions? Think about this. Jesus told his disciples to go into town and just untie a donkey and bring it to him. They don’t know who it belongs to or if they have permission. They don’t know why Jesus wants it. I would be nervous—I mean this could be considered stealing.
But this is Jesus, and the disciples trust him. They didn’t always. Throughout the three years they traveled with Jesus, they had lots of questions. And during the three years their relationship deepened and they began trust more fully. Because of their deep relationship and trust, they were able to respond in faith. Not only did they respond, but they threw their cloaks on the back of the donkey and they proclaimed who Jesus was.
What questions do you have for God? Do those questions keep you from a deeper relationship with God? God wants us to bring our questions to God so that our relationship deepens and we too can proclaim our faith.
Respond: During this Holy Week, spend some time asking yourself what questions you have for God. Write them down. If you are comfortable, share them with others. Spend some time praying. How does being open about your doubts change the way you worship?
- Katherine Doyle
Adult and Adults
Read: Mark 11:1-11
Reflect: I’ve often wondered where I would have been as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. Would this have then a time for me to leave my family, my work to follow this man Jesus and his followers? Would I have been standing along the road, merely watching, or would I have been one of those who shared his cloak or spread leafy branches cut from the fields? If I’d become a follower, would I have engaged in outreach or tried to evangelize others to follow along with me? Would I have just wondered what all this was about and turned and gone on my way? This reading each year comforts me with the humble majesty of this Jesus procession, but ’m always left with questions about my own engagement or complicity as well. Where am I in this picture? Where are you?
Respond: Imagine the road into Jerusalem. See the change from the countryside into this first century metropolis. As you picture this city, is the street narrow? What types of stones are people and animals walking over? Along with the colt that Jesus rides on, what other animals are about? Are dogs running to and fro? Are people selling wares arranged on the ground on large cloths, or are there shops and stands? Are centurions poised for danger or simply leaning about? Are the disciples walking alongside Jesus, or are they arrayed in front of and behind him? Where are the women? As you place yourself in your imagined Jerusalem on this day, what are you and where are you?
- Mallard Benton