28 March 2021 is Palm Sunday.
For St James’ Church, in some ways, this marks the first anniversary of Lockdown.
Palm Sunday 2020 saw the first “virtual service” from St James’ featuring audio rather than only text.
During the course of the year since then, we later moved to a video-based format (as for this week – see below).
And there is planned further change to coincide with the reopening of the Church for physical Sunday services from Easter Sunday 2021 (04 April 2021). The service will be recorded live in the church and then uploaded afterwards so that it will be available via this website as usual.
There may be some timing issues, at least to start with, and the availability of the service from “first thing” on Sunday mornings (at the latest) will move to a later time on Sundays. This is still a work in progress and we would welcome feedback.
Back to this week…
The principal reading is Mark 11:1-11. There are only two lectionary readings on Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter. It commemorates what is often referred to as Jesus Christ’s “triumphal” entry into Jerusalem. However, Rev. Geoff McKee questions whether that is an accurate description.
The main scripture for this week
Mark 11:1-11 (New International Version)
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”
4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
“Hosanna in the highest” is performed by Vineyard Worship and the film footage is of Palm Sunday 2018 in Jerusalem. The hymn was written in 1985 by Carl Tuttle an American Christian singer-songwriter and hymn writer.
Note: The Somme photos referred to by Geoff in his sermon are available to view here.