A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of grace,
Just like every year, I am trying to figure out what to say about Palm Sunday. There will be hosannas and palm branches waving, church family picnics and children’s choirs singing and such happy worship. It all reminds me of donkeys and parades, children making a pathway of green for your entrance into Jerusalem. Yet there is something that seems shallow about Palm Sunday. I will say Jesus is king, but do I really mean it? Do I recognize his complete authority over me? Do I recognize that nothing I have belongs to me? Nope, I say the words and lean that way, but when it comes down to brass tacks – what I do with my time, where I spend my energy, what I do with my money, how I treat my neighbor, what I say when challenges come – I fall so far short of true worship.
So this year, when I sing “Hosanna,” I pray that you will hear me cry out with the original Hebrew meaning of the word: “Hosia na” meaning “Save us.” You sent Jesus as the Messiah, the King like David, come to save us, save us from our sin, save us from the mess we have made of our world. I pray that I might see the cross as Jesus’ crowning glory, that I would understand in my heart and soul that love like his demands my allegiance and love in return. I pray that I may accept the salvation you offer and honor Jesus as sovereign in all my life.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
You can’t get to Easter without going through Good Friday! Don’t miss our Holy Week experiences (more information here).
- Sunday 4/14: Palm Sunday Picnic on Blanton Field, 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, 4/17: foot washing prayer service in the Chapel at 7 p.m.
- Thursday, 4/18: Maundy Thursday Passion story from the Gospel of John in chant and communion service in the Chapel at noon, and communion service in the Sanctuary with Dr. Linda Christians preaching at 7 p.m.
- Friday, 4/19: Good Friday service of the Tenebrae at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary
- Saturday, 4/20: Anticipation of Easter service in the Chapel, 11 a.m.
- Easter Sunday, 4/21: Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary, 8, 9, 10:05, 11:10 a.m.; Contemporary Worship in the Fellowship Hall at 9:15 a.m. (Come to the 8 a.m. service and you will find a parking space and a seat, and no waiting in line!)
Our Easter offering this year supports AVDA – Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse. I hope you had the opportunity to hear about it in worship last week. AVDA takes a holistic approach by advocating for the safety and self-determination of victims, promoting accountability for abusers, and fostering a community response to abuse. Last year alone, AVDA served 4,042 adult and children victims and 901 abusers. The organization’s outreach efforts reached 16,000 adults and youth. From intervention to prevention, the AVDA staff works tirelessly on behalf of abuse survivors to end family violence in our community. If you want to know more, go tohttps://avda-tx.org/. You can give online here.
We are continuing our sermon series “The Book of Glory,” looking at the last half of the gospel of John, which outlines the last few days Jesus spends with his disciples before the crucifixion. This week, we consider the encounter between Jesus and Pontius Pilate in John 19 as Pilate orders Jesus to be crucified. Come and see where you might find yourself in this passage.
Sunday, April 14 – Palm Sunday
Almighty God, today we wave our palms remembering Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. As we move into this most holy of weeks and toward the great celebration of Easter, help us to always be mindful that, because of Jesus’ suffering and death, we are set free from our sins and given a new life in you. Guide us in how we can best serve so that others may see your love at work in us. Amen. -Prayer by Dr. Linda Christians
Monday, April 15
Heavenly Father, as we turn toward you during Lent, guide us to find new strength in you to manage our human condition. Grant us spiritual renewal that takes us to a new place in our journey of faith. Transform our hearts so that we are changed for your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Tuesday, April 16
Gracious God, let us confess our sins and surrender our hearts to you so that we may experience the depth of your grace. Purify our hearts, and create in us a renewed sense of faith. Lead us to your paths of righteousness so that we may be an example of abundant life in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Wednesday, April 17
Dear Loving God, We thank you daily for dying on the cross to save us from our sins. We are so fortunate to have your loving image to give us hope and guide us every day. Help us to remember the most important thing is to love each other as YOU have loved us. Amen. -Prayer by Becky Kidd
Thursday, April 18 ¬- Maundy Thursday
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of family to love and care for us. Guide us to be all that you have called us to be in our family roles. Help us to share your love, peace, and grace in our family relationships so that we are united in you. Amen.
Friday, April 19 – Good Friday
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world. We don’t like to admit that we need a place to put our sin, but we do. Our secrets and selfishness and shame and shadows – today we admit that we can’t handle or fix or resolve any of it, so we hang it all on you while you hang on a cross. Your sacrifice is our freedom. What wondrous love is this? Amen. -Prayer by Rev. David Horton
Saturday, April 20
Gracious God, thank you for a savior who came down from Heaven to be with us and teach us. Thank you, God, for a savior who gave us a human example and who laid down his life for us. Thank you, God, for turning Good Friday into Easter Sunday. Amen.