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Worship Sheet for Sunday 10 April               Palms and protest     

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey, making the point that he was coming to bring in the kingdom of God, but peacefully – not entertaining the thoughts of force favoured by some of his followers. The authorities were anxious, but they bided their time. There is a place for protest, but even that can be costly, as it was for Jesus who went to his death later in the week. What is our response to injustice? And are we as set on love?  
Call: O
Come quickly and see, Jesus is here, he is riding on a colt entering the city of Jerusalem. Come quickly, come and see. Is he the one we have been waiting for? Come, quickly, come let us worship, for Jesus is indeed the one, he is the one we worship.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Almighty God, whose love endures forever, who meets us where we are, who meets us as we are-our true selves: flawed and broken, sick and well, sad and joyous, doubtful and sure; but forever held in your steadfast love. As we begin this week of contemplation and reflection, guide our thoughts towards the life and teachings of our saviour Jesus. Show us the way forward and through the difficulties of this life and these troubling times; lead us towards the gates of your kingdom; forgive us for all the times we have failed to follow you; and embolden us to do better in your steadfast love. Like those before us, we come together today, in our buildings, in our homes perhaps separated in space but bound always in dedication to your son Jesus, strengthened in your Holy Spirit, and united always in your steadfast love to shout Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. And further we pray together Our Father. ..

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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Luke 19:28-40.  Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.         
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Thought- We tend to think of Palm Sunday as a celebration – and in a way it was – with ordinary people welcoming Jesus in triumph. Yet, we know that later in the week Jesus was to go to the cross – and he knew as he rode on the donkey that he was riding to his death. It was a protest too – not quiet from all accounts but peaceful, though it would have had the authorities concerned. As with dictators through the centuries even to this day – they hate opposition, despise publicity to views other than their own and seek to silence those who fail to tow the line. What does this passage have to say to us in face of ruthless and violent authoritarian rulers? What place have we in standing up for justice for those who have little or no scope to do it themselves? How do we draw attention even at home to the devastating impact upon folk who simply can’t afford the huge price increases that we are facing? By nature, I am not a ready protester. By nature, I prefer to accentuate the positives, but I accept that there is a place for peaceful protest. And perhaps we do need to add our weight to representations for those who are under the cosh of injustice (literally in some parts of the world) or the overwhelming weight of debt and poverty. But while we need to seriously address this and add our weight to practical support it would be a mistake to think that we had thereby exhausted our responsibilities. For beyond our aligning ourselves with others to seek to make the earth a better place for everyone, there is a spiritual dimension that we mustn’t forget. For God is interested in heart and mind, body and soul – and the love and forgiveness of God in Jesus is key to our goals too. If we don’t see to that, then no one else will. Love and forgiveness can be costly, but it is what prompted Jesus to go to the cross.

Praise: CH4 365         Ride on, ride on in majesty.  
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Loving God, you search us, and you know us, you speak to us, and you listen, your love brought us into being, and your love wraps us in care forever. We thank you for the gifts given to each of us: our world, our friends, our families, our homes. We rejoice in your presence in our lives. We bring our words of prayer, for ourselves and for our world, near and far. We thank you for your eternal love, and for all try to spread it throughout our churches, communities, countries and world. Help each of us to understand it, and let it live within us not as a thought or idea, but as living, saving, hope. We pray for the people who try to live daily by your love, for all who live out its life-giving call to serve, caring for self and neighbour. Help us to know what your love is calling us to do, And change the world for the better. We pray for all the people who seek your love, in scripture, experience, religion and nature, may their search be fruitful, may they find help along the way, and may we be a support to all who seek you. We pray for people all over the world, who find that words, not love, are used like weapons against them, who are ostracised because they or their ideas don’t fit in. We think esp of those facing violence and persecution. Help us to show your love to them, to bring peace and justice in your name and be brothers and sisters in love to all in need. We continue to uphold those whose world has been devastated or traumatised because of the invasion of Ukraine. Nearer home we pray for those who live or work in Kennedy Avenue. SILENCE. In Jesus’ name, inspired by his love, we pray.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.