Palm Sunday

Mar 25, 2024 | Services

There was real joy on Palm Sunday as we welcomed back our own minister, the Rev’d Mark Lawrence, with his wife Carolyn, after some month’s absence.  He received a round of applause as he was warmly welcomed by our steward, Sue Fox, as were visitors from other local churches.  Sue read some scripture describing the triumphant entry into Jerusalem by Jesus and his followers and she laid a strand of palm leaves at the foot of the cross symbolising the palms which were waved by the people to welcome Jesus so many years ago.  Mark suitably responded to his welcome and called us to worship as he read some words from The Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted the prophets which were before you”.  To the music of Rod Smith on the organ we sang the hymn “All glory, laud and honour, to thee Redeemer. King”.  Mark led our prayers of praise and adoration.  Carolyn gave her testimony which gave us much food for thought.

There were three bible readings, the first by Mark from Psalm 40, followed by the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, as told by Mark, chapter 11.  These were read by Rod Smith and Sue Fox.  Our prayers for others were led by Carolyn and included prayers for those suffering in Gaza, Sudan, Haiti, Ukraine, our own Nation, and special prayers for HRH Catherine, The Princess of Wales.

In his address Mark spoke movingly about the significance today of the events some 2,000 years ago, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem to rapturous acclaim by the crowd and as they laid their garments before him and covered the streets with palm leaves.  This was to fulfil the prophecy of Zachariah, one of the minor prophets of the Old Testament.  Mark linked this event with words of Jesus about the failing fig tree, covered in leaves but bearing no fruit, and his subsequent clearing of the Temple.  The donkey he used was calm  and accommodating and Mark asked us whether we are calm and accommodating in our faith, and humble as was Jesus.  The fig tree is analogous to the priests in the Temple, being ritualistic but bearing no fruit hence he cleared out the commercialisation of the Holy Place of God.  Saying ‘love overcomes evil’ and love is at the centre of Palm Sunday.  This was a thrilling service ably led by our minister after which we enjoyed refreshments including a ‘welcome back’ cake.

On Good Friday there will be a reflective ecumenical service led by the Rev’d Graham Horsley and our service on Easter Sunday at 10.30am will also be led by, the Rev’d Graham Horsley and all are welcome.