Day 374 | Sunday, 28 March 2021 – PALM SUNDAY
The assigned Scripture readings for Palm Sunday are: Liturgy of the Palms: Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29. Liturgy of the Passion: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66 or Matthew 27:11-54. I will be sharing the Liturgy of the Palms today with the intention of following the Liturgy of the Passion throughout the week.
Matthew 21:1-11 Entry into Jerusalem CEB
21 When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task. 2 He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that their master needs them.” He sent them off right away. 4 Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said, 5 Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.” 6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.8 Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna, in the highest!” 10 And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. “Who is this?” they asked. 11 The crowds answered, “It’s the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
“Jerusalem was the central city of first century Judaism. Bethpage is a couple miles outside of Jerusalem. Locating a donkey and a colt is unique to Matthew; the other Gospels mention only one animal. In addition to the disciples, the crowds also have some awareness of this royal occasion, as they spread out “clothes” and “palm branches” and shout songs of praise; “Hosanna” literally means “save (us) now” and is a reference to God’s deliverance over enemies. The “son of David” title is repeated throughout Matthew. Jesus has also been referred to as a “prophet”.” CEB – p 1234
“Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” words: Jeanette Threlfall, 1873
1. Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang, through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang. To Jesus, who had blessed them close folded to his breast, the children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.
2. From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd, the victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud. The Lord of earth and heaven rode on in lowly state, nor scorned that little children should on his bidding wait.
3. "Hosanna in the highest!" that ancient song we sing, for Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King. O may we ever praise him with heart and life and voice, and in his blissful presence eternally rejoice!
A Prayer for Palm/Passion Sunday
“God of all life, loud hosannas and thundering earthquakes, children's laughter and disciples' tears, journey with us this week into the depths of this final drama, where we watch ourselves in the faces of the crowd and see how costly is Christ's love for us.
God of all life, journey with us toward Easter, toward the light that overcomes darkness, toward the love that overcomes death.
God of all life, hold those we love whose future feels like the darkness of Good Friday, and whose Easter has not dawned. Amen.”