Lenten Communion Palm Sunday

I would like to invite you on a journey. We will not be going to some lovely resort to laugh and have fun. You will not be bringing sunscreen and your bathing suit. No, this will not be a vacation; instead, we will be traveling with Jesus down a road not of his own choosing. A path laden with pain and sorrow, filled with denial and betrayal, and ultimately leading to death.
Why, you ask, would any of us want to go on such a trip? It sounds horrible! We go to understand the sacrifices Jesus made so we might live. We go to feel the aching sadness of Jesus as he watches his loved ones turn away. We go to experience how following the will of God can be agonizing. And, finally, we go because we are the Body of Christ carrying his Spirit, his heart, his mercy, compassion, and forgiveness into a broken world.
So come with me and we will meet Jesus, who lived and died, and rose again so we might know more fully the God who made us, loves us, and will be with us forever and ever.

Confession and Pardon
Lord, I am not ready to meet you on this road. I am unworthy to walk with you, for I, too, deny and betray you. When mercy is called for, I am judgmental. When I need to show patience, I am rude. When I need to listen, I give advice. Walking your path of kindness and acceptance is difficult and I often do not show your grace and love when I am called to do so. I ask for your forgiveness. Help me find my true self. Give me the insight to see my faults and change my behavior. I trust you to be my guide and friend. I depend on your love and care. Let my life make a difference. Amen.

The God who loves you, forgives you.

The God who loves you, forgives you.

The end is near.
I feel it in my bones.
So much left to do,
now held in the hands
of others.

My heart is heavy
with unfulfilled hopes
and shattered dreams:
The poor are still poor;
the hungry go unfed.
The sightless remain blind
and the broken-hearted
continue to weep.

My hands have healed,
my words have inspired,
my heart has been opened,
my love spilled out;
yet my children cry out,
lonely and in pain.

I have given them this prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever. Amen

yet they continue to push away
the One who can help them the most.

I offered bread and wine,
my body and blood,
all that I have, all that I am,
so that my people might
carry me with them
as they spread the good news.

They looked in wonder and confusion
as I took the bread, blessed it, and said,
“Take and eat;
this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

Before the wine was passed
around the table, I blessed it, saying,
“ This cup is the new covenant
in my blood. Do this, as often
as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

(Serving of the bread and cup)

Even as my love and affection
was poured out upon them,
betrayal and fear
was returned to me.

I asked my Father
to remove this cup of suffering;
instead, as my friends slept,
angels came and
gave me strength.

I carried the people’s scorn
on my back;
thorns mocked me,
nails of love held me…
until all was finished.

Is all hope gone?
Has the Light been
extinguished forever?
Will suffering and death
win the final victory?

Hymn “Lamb of God” BH#2113

(Stripping of the alter)

(All leave the sanctuary in silence)

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