Order of Worship April 5, 2020 Palm Sunday

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PROVIDENCE CHURCH

PALM SUNDAY   APRIL 5, 2020

 

Welcome

 

Passing of the Peace: Though we are separated by distance our hearts are one in Christ. The peace of Christ be with you!

 

Doxology: The words of this well-known hymn speak volumes of our Triune God. Our faith looks up to Thee!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

 

Call to worship:   Psalm 118

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.  This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Hosanna, we pray, O Lord!  O Lord, save us, we pray, and give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us.  Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!  You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.  Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

 

Song of Praise:   All Glory, Laud and Honor

(Theodulph of Orleans, ca. 820, tr. JM Neale, 1854; music, M. Teschner, ca. 1615)

 

All glory, laud and honor to thee, Redeemer, King,

to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring!

Thou art the King of Israel, thou David’s royal Son,

who in the Lord’s name comest, the King and blessed One!

 

The people of the Hebrews with palms before thee went;

our praise and prayer and anthems before thee we present:

to thee, before thy passion, they sang their hymns of praise;

to thee, now high exalted, our melody we raise.

 

Thou didst accept their praises; accept the prayers we bring,

who in all good delightest, thou good and gracious King!

All glory, laud and honor to thee, Redeemer, King,

to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring!

 

Confession:           Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

 

Hear the Gospel Assurance:   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

 

 

Respond in Praise:   Lamb of God           (Twila Paris, 1985)

Your only Son, no sin to hide, but you have sent Him from Your side

to walk upon this guilty sod, and to become the Lamb of God.

O Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God; I love the holy Lamb of God.

O wash me in His precious blood, my Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

 

Your gift of love they crucified; they laughed and scorned Him as He died.

The humble King they named a fraud, and sacrificed the Lamb of God.

O Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God; I love the holy Lamb of God.

O wash me in His precious blood, my Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

 

I was so lost I should have died, but You have brought me to Your side

to be led by Your staff and rod, and to be called a lamb of God.

O Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God; I love the holy Lamb of God.

O wash me in His precious blood, my Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

 

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 21:1-22

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”  This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Zechariah, saying,

 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”  And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?”  And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.  He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.  But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.  In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry.  And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

This is the Word of the Lord.

 

Palm Sunday 2020

Today is Palm Sunday and all around the world Christians are remembering the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, with the unmistakable claim and acclamation of Messiah-ship.  And all around the world, believers are contemplating (with great concern) the reality of living in a world plagued by sin and disease. Jesus Christ came precisely to announce the promise of the Kingdom, the reign and rule of King Jesus. The prophet Zachariah predicted the coming of the Messiah, that he would enter Jerusalem in humility to the cries of Hosanna (which means He Saves in Hebrew). The people waved palm branches and quoted Psalm 118 “God saves! Blessed is the One who comes in the Name of the Lord”. Out of the mouths of babes, truth is proclaimed—mind you the religious leaders were incensed by this display! They said “Jesus put a stop to this blasphemy!” And Jesus, in humility and yet with authority told them “if they be silent then even the rocks would cry out!” Because nothing or no one is going to stop the coming of the Messiah.

Next Jesus, with the authority given to him by his heavenly Father, goes to the temple and turns the tables of the moneychangers and the sellers of doves for sacrifice. Out of convenience for Jewish pilgrims, coming to the feast by the ten’s of thousands, the religious authorities had said the buyers and sellers of temple coin and sacrifice could set up in the Court of the Gentiles, which was the outer court area of the temple mount. Convenient for the children of Abraham, but this made it impossible for gentiles to come to pray in peace. Jesus, full of zeal for prayer to God by the nations, because He came not just for the lost of Israel but the lost of every nation, shouts to them “my house will be a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a dens of robbers!”

In this passage we see Jesus speaking blessing on the children and the gentiles, but rebuking the religious authorities and the profiteers of Israel. Jesus demonstrated righteous indignation. It’s okay for us as believers to be angry about what is wrong in the church, the nation and the world-and to do something about it! Really the curse of the tree, is about Jesus pronouncing judgment on the religious authorities and on the nation of Israel. The curious story of the cursed fig tree, is so much more than about a tree. The Fig tree had long been a symbol of Israel, and Jesus is looking for spiritual fruit in Israel and he sees none, though it had many seasons to produce fruit. Jesus spoke a word of curse and within a day it was withered. He said “if you have faith you can move mountains”….and sure enough within 50 days of this event, the Spirit fell on Jews from every nation, and within a short generation the gospel went out to all the Roman world, and Israel itself, with Jerusalem as its religious center was utterly in ruins. The Tree was emblematic of Israel and the faith that moved mountains brought about the miracle of gospel proclamation to everyone! When believers do not take seriously the call to bear spiritual fruit for the gospel, then, as in Revelation, we stand in danger of having our lampstand removed. This text, and the times we live in with Corona, should be a call to prayer for us. In these unprecedented times of social isolation, unemployment, fear and loss of so much that we love (sports, entertainment, meeting together at church, going out to eat!)….let us turn to God in humility and cry out to Him for revival and renewal.

 

 

Prayers of the people: Pray for yourself, family and community, nation and the world.

 

Hymn of Thanksgiving:      Hosanna (Carl Tuttle, 1985)

 

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest!

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest!

Lord, we lift up Your name, with hearts full of praise;

Be exalted, O Lord my God! Hosanna in the highest.

 

Glory, glory, glory to the King of kings!
Glory, glory, glory to the King of kings!

Lord, we lift up your name, with hearts full of praise;

Be exalted, O Lord my God! Glory to the King of kings!

 

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest!

Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest!

Lord, we lift up Your name, with hearts full of praise;

Be exalted, O Lord my God! Hosanna in the highest, hosanna in the highest!

 

Benediction: (The Lord speaks this blessing over you)

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you

The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you,

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

As He has in Christ Jesus,

And may you live and abide in His peace!