Worship at Home - Palm Sunday 2020

Palm Sunday, 5th April 2020, 10:30am
Matthew 21: 1-11 (and Philippians 2: 5-11)

This short act of worship is for use while we are unable to attend church.  Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

Opening sentence:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: His love endures for ever.” (Psalm 118:1)

Opening Prayer

May the word get around, O God,
that you are God.
That you disrupt our ways,
challenge our being,
cause confusion on our presumptions,
confront our prejudices
and for this we praise you.

May the word get around, O God,
that you are God.
Not some quiet deity in some distant past
but the life-force of justice,
the spirit of wisdom,
the word that shouts in the streets
that love has been set flee
to cause disquiet in the corridors of
and for this we praise you.

May the word get around, O God,
that you are God.
Found in the middle of
the arguments for truth
in the debates about power,
in the disputes for peace,
ready to build the kingdom
right where the world wants to destroy
and for this we praise you.

May the word get around, O God,
that you are God
and we praise you.

The Collect (prayer) for the day:

Almighty and everlasting God,
Who in your tender love towards humanity sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross, that all humankind should follow the example of his great humility: grant that we may both follow the example of his passion and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Ride on, Ride on in majesty (STF 265)


OR Give thanks to the Lord (Forever) (StF77)


1   Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes hosanna cry;
O Saviour meek, pursue your road
with palms and scattered garments strowed.

2   Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die:
O Christ, your triumphs now begin
o’er captive death and conquered sin.

3   Ride on, ride on in majesty!
The winged squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wond’ring eyes
to see the approaching sacrifice.

4   Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Your last and fiercest strife is nigh;
the Father on his sapphire throne
expects his own anointed Son.

5   Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
bow your meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O God, your power and reign.

Reading: Matthew 21: 1-11

From your Bible read the whole story

This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

Brian writes to us…

v5: “See, your king comes to you.”  What does it mean to claim that Jesus is King?

As the story develops, it becomes abundantly clear that Jesus wasn’t the kind of King the crowds desired. Rather than overthrow Roman rule, he cleanses the Temple instead. Which leads me to think, “What kind of King is Jesus to me?” The earliest Christian creed, “Jesus is Lord”, conveys much the same meaning.  Certainly, He is (as Graham Kendrick penned) the servant king and certainly “The King of love my shepherd is”. But he is not a sort of Aladdin’s Genie who appears to fulfil my desires, is he? In the story of the wise and foolish builders, known to anyone who has attended Sunday school, Jesus asks us the pointed question, “Why do you call me Lord. Lord, and not do what I say?”

The reality is that Jesus is an old-school warrior-king just like his ancestor David. He has an army. He employs weapons. He leads us into conflict. The difference between David and Jesus is the kind of personnel, weapons and conflicts he uses.  Instead of blood-thirsty fighters, Jesus recruits “anyone who will come to me”. Instead of swords, bombs, bullets or nuclear devices he employs the weapons of love, prayer, thankfulness, self-sacrifice. And the enemy is never other people, however different from ourselves, but the “principalities and powers” (a phrase that needs a lot of unpacking but includes the way things are organised without reference to God’s Word and ways)

Is that the King we want? He is absolutely the King we all need.


Prayer Time.
In your own words, remember before God…

Those in authority in this country and around the world grappling with the present crisis and the many other difficult problems humanity faces….

All those “on the front line” whether NHS staff, transport workers, shop workers, the emergency services…

Those most personally affected by the
Covid-19 outbreak: the bereaved, those seriously ill, those who have already lost their jobs…

The Church of Jesus Christ as together we seek to witness to the love and care of God in word and action, people in your own congregation and the Circuit…

And pray for yourself and your family.
Remember, too, thankfulness!

The Lord’s Prayer

Hymn: Sing we the King who is coming to reign.


OR I see the King of Glory (Hosanna)


1   Sing we the King who is coming to reign,
Glory to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain,
Life and salvation his empire shall bring
Joy to the nations when Jesus is King.

Come let us sing: Praise to our King,
Jesus our King, Jesus our King;
This is our song, who to Jesus belong:
Glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.

2   All men shall dwell in his marvellous light,
Races long severed his love shall unite,
Justice and truth
from his sceptre shall spring,
Wrong shall be ended when Jesus is King.

3   All shall be well in his Kingdom of peace,
Freedom shall flourish and wisdom increase,
Foe shall be friend when his triumph we sing,
Sword shall be sickle when Jesus is King.

4   Souls shall be saved from the burden of sin,
Doubt shall not darken his witness within,
Hell hath no terrors, and death hath no sting;
Love is victorious when Jesus is King.

5   Kingdom of Christ, for thy coming we pray,
Hasten, O Father, the dawn of the day
When this new song thy creation shall sing,
Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King.

The Blessing:
Now may the blessing of Almighty God,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.


Message & Service – Revd Brian Kennard, Supernumerary, Northampton
leaflet compiled by Revd Phil Snelson