March 28, 2021

Palm Sunday (click here)

Passage: Psalm 118:1–2, 19–29; Mark 11:1–11
Service Type:



MARCH 28, 2021          PALM SUNDAY


  • Thank you Rev. Shirley Cochrane for leading us in worship this Palm Sunday morning. May the Spirit of God lead and guide our time of worship, prayer, and praise. Welcome to you all!
  • We direct your attention to a resource called Lenten Gardens.  It is found under the DEVOTIONS tab on the website.    It will take you to a garden to explore, with Adult Studies, Children’s stories, crafts for all ages, music, recipes and so much more.   The link will change weekly through Lent, and twice during Holy Week.
  • We also remind you that this months Loonie Offering will be going to Shuswap Hospice Society. Please check the "Recent Posts" to the right of your screen, for more information.
  • Maundy Thursday:  Please join us on-line as we repeat last year’s anointing with oil service prepared by Rev. Ena van Zoeren.
  • Good Friday:  This year we will focus on walking the stations of the cross.  There will be a sign up sheet (call Ena 250-253-0338 to register) where one-by-one, bubble groups can come to the church and walk through the stations.  There will also be a video of John and Janet walking the stations that you can follow as you worship from home.  As always for those who prefer to read and mediate on the worship service there will be a full written script.  Peace and Blessings on you all as you journey.



As we enter Holy Week let us rejoice in the Light of the World

our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ



Jesus is coming.

Let us welcome him with branches and songs of praise.

Hosanna! In the highest 

He comes to us riding on a donkey.

In praise we adore you, King Jesus!

Enter our hearts today.

As you entered Jerusalem so long ago

Lead us by faith everlasting.

Open wide the gates!

Hosanna!  Hosanna to the King of kings!


HYMN       214 – All glory, laud and honour



God of all people and all places, God of all situations and all times, you are the light of the minds that know you, and the strength of those who serve you in times of challenge and times of joy. We come to worship you this day, setting aside our work and responsibilities, our relaxation and pastimes, to listen for your voice and reflect on the wisdom and courage we witness in Jesus. We bless you; we praise you and glorify you for all the blessings you pour out upon us! As tension mounts for Jesus  and for us, we turn to you for hope and healing, for courage and compassion, in the name of Christ, our Lord.

Hear us now as we speak to you the truth about our lives and confess together.



God of compassion, we confess that we prefer darkness to your light,

and our ways to yours. We do what is easy rather than what is right.

We have been dishonest with ourselves and each other.

Forgive our fleeting enthusiasms and shallow commitments.

As we witness again the story of Jesus confronting his enemies,

strengthen our desire to follow him and serve you with courage like his.



St. John records Jesus’ words: I do not call you servants any longer, but I have called you friends. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Dear friends, Christ has laid down his life for us and invites us to love one another as he has loved us. Rejoice in his redeeming love and share it with each other day by day.



May the peace of Christ be yours today and, in the days ahead.


HYMN       216 – Hosanna




Psalm 118:1–2, 19–29   


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever.

Let Israel say:

“His love endures forever.”

19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;

I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord

through which the righteous may enter.

21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;

you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;

23 the Lord has done this,

and it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 The Lord has done it this very day;

let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us!

Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

From the house of the Lord we bless you.

27 The Lord is God,

and he has made his light shine on us.

With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession

up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;

you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever.


Mark 11:1–11

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 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. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

“Hosanna! 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.


Jesus, your Living Word, confronted those who stood against him with your truth. Send us your Holy Spirit to hear your truth again in his story. Inspire us with his courage and conviction that we may love you more fully and serve you with wisdom and truth. Amen.

It’s Passover!  It’s Jerusalem!  It’s the largest, most famous city in the area – the hub of religious, political and economic life. The famous Temple -focal center for the Jewish people is situated well within the gated stone wall which encircles the city. Also within the city precincts is the seat of the Roman Government  housed in the Royal palace, the place where the appointed Roman procurator has full control  of the province.

Jerusalem has just witnessed a Roman military parade. Pontius Pilate has entered Jerusalem from his home in Caesarea. His procession is in the Roman style—complete with a display of Rome’s military might. Pilate is seated upon  a majestic stallion displaying all the trappings of Roman wealth and prestige. His Roman Officers are in polished armor displaying the banners of captured, vanquished armies.

His parade is a proclamation of Rome’s superiority. It comes with an undeniable message directed at the pilgrims gathered in the city from near and far for the Passover festivities: “Keep the peace, or we will control you by force!”

Passover!  the holiday commemorating the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction, - the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites, when the Lord “smote the land of Egypt” on the eve of the Exodus. This festival  marks the first and most momentous event in Jewish history. Jewish folks from all over have made the trip into the city to join in the celebrations. Others – knowing the party atmosphere have also converged, increasing the tourist overflow.


Can you imagine what it must have been like on that day 2000 plus years ago?

It had been a long road – Jesus and his disciples are on the very final leg as they head into the city. For weeks as they traveled to Jerusalem, he kept telling them that “I must go to be sacrificed, I must go to die and then be raised after three days.” But they would not hear him. What they heard him say was that he would be taken by Roman authorities, taken by temple authorities, and they all thought to themselves, we will stand up to those people. We will stand up to them with our swords, and with our fists, and we will make sure Jesus is not taken. However right now, Jesus is fulfilling an ancient prophecy from Zechariah 9:9. Words–written 575 years earlier–predicting that when the Messiah comes to Israel, he will come riding on a donkey.

This morning’s story is one of the most beautiful pictures in its remarkable simplicity. We see Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth humbly entering the city of Jerusalem on a borrowed colt, amongst the other ordinary folks who are caught up in the excitement of the day. However, as he enters, the crowds begin throwing cloaks in his way. They go out into the fields and cut leafy branches from palms They throw the branches and garments onto the road to show that he’s entering, not just as a simple man, a simple carpenter, a simple teacher, not even as a simple prophet from Galilee, but he is entering as a king. We hear their cries of “Hosanna,” their cries of “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Many welcome the arrival of Jesus. But there are others in the crowds, who witness Jesus’ arrival with suspicion, seeing him as a threat. Both Roman officials and Jewish leaders consider Jesus to be a dangerous radical who will stir the people up into revolution against the state and ‘true’ religion. For them, Jesus’ arrival does not stir them to joy or celebration, but only fear and anger.

So, in the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, there are a mixture of emotions and responses, and contrasting expectations and hopes: joy, fear and anger; excitement and even hatred. There are those that anticipate renewed community in a positive sense, and those who fear the overthrow of accepted social order and religious practice.

He is a king, but he’s not like any earthly king. The Parade is an “acted out parable,” in which Jesus is sending a clear message to the nation. “This is who I am! I am your King, but I am not the King you are expecting!” I am not a king who will throw out the Romans. I am the King who will defeat Satan. My cross and empty tomb will strip Satan of all His false power.” Jesus knows how this parade will end. He knows that His “holy” week will end - not on a Roman cross but at an empty grave, and a resurrected body.

Mark uses imagery of the Roman Empire to suggest the arrival of a New, Powerful Saviour in the person of Jesus. The one who will bring blessing and salvation; the one who will deliver the people from Roman oppression, from Jewish legalism; from disease.

Today we recognize we too have been travelling a long road for the last year.  Life has been so different because of the pandemic--. sometimes confused, lonely, isolated – a year beyond what most of us anticipated Today is Palm Sunday. For us it marks the beginning of Holy Week. Maundy Thursday marks the pain of departure as Jesus shares a last meal with his closest friends, performing a humble act of service as he washes their feet. Good Friday marks the desperate act of betrayal and subsequent arrest of Jesus; then his crucifixion and death.

We know where Jesus is going. We know he is not going to Herod’s palace. We know he is not going to confront the Roman authorities. We know he is not going to topple the corruption of the temple leaders. We know he is marching through this city, heading for a vicious cross. And perhaps we wonder, what do the words of triumph mean. What does “hosanna mean?” Hosanna is a word that means “save us”. You can imagine the people as they saw this man whom they thought was their king, that he would save them in the way other great leaders had saved them. Looking to be saved from the oppression of a Roman occupation, from those in the temple who collaborated with the occupiers.

They expect so much from him as Jesus enters in triumph. They expect a life that will be filled with so many blessings, blessings of the earthly, worldly type. But as we look back on it now, at their cries of hosanna, Save us, they were looking in the wrong direction. Jesus does not always save us from the burdens that we carry in our earthly life. Jesus does not always save us from illness -from poverty, from poor health care, from poor educational systems, from acts of war.

If we are just looking to God to save us from these worldly things, he is not going to do it. Our salvation is not going to be done in that way. This salvation does not come from a sword. -does not come from conquest. This salvation does not come from militaristic words. This salvation does not even come from a ballot box. Yet the arrival of Jesus on Palm Sunday changed the normal understanding of life and death.

Jesus does not conform to human expectations of Saviour, of Liberator, of Healer – although, of course, he is all these things. Rather the Jesus we believe in, and who is the source of our hope, goes beyond – far beyond – our limited hopes and expectations for us, while being closer and more intimately involved in the realisation of our deepest desires and prayer that we can ever understand.

Familiarity is the danger we face as we come to the Easter season. The accounts of the Triumphal Entry, the events of Holy Week, and Easter are so familiar to most of us, we know them so well, I suspect that we kind of just go through the motions without letting the impact of these events really touch us. Familiar stories tend to cause us to drift into a mode that says, "Yep, I know this story."

Still, we also know that there is something beyond this day, that there is something beyond this triumph of Palm Sunday.

When we cry our hosannas, when we cry out to God to save us in this place, we are calling on God to lift our hearts from the fog. To lift our minds from the sense that we only have ourselves to deal with, that we only have ourselves to care about, that we only have ourselves to depend on. Jesus says to us to follow him on his path through Jerusalem to the cross. We also know from the life of Jesus that people will turn against us. The world has and will turn against us. The world does not want our message. So we need to take this hour and make it  a declaration of triumph – a determined march of abundant life  just as Jesus took his disciples with him on that march to the cross.

This Palm Sunday may we truly anticipate the wonder and joy of New Life, rising with Christ on Easter Morning, our false hopes and expectations buried along with our Saviour who liberates us from them, and then let us find new freedom and awareness of the Risen Christ in our midst. For the fact is - true healing, liberation and wisdom comes from him – and only him. God sent His son, they called Him Jesus He came to love, heal, and forgive.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna! Thanks be to God. Amen

HYMN                 218 – Hosanna, loud hosanna



As we begin our journey through Holy Week today, we remember what Jesus faced, how the crowd cheered him one day and called for his death by week’s end. Close friends betrayed him and ran away. In our offering, we declare our love and loyalty to Jesus and his ministry in the world God loves. Let us show our faithfulness to him in the gifts we offer today.



Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!



Lord Jesus, we offer our gifts to God in your name. Compared with the gift you gave for our sakes, what we can offer seems so small. Bless our gifts with your love so that they have power to accomplish more than we can even imagine for your sake. Receive our humble thanks and bless our lives, too, so that what we do and say will show we have the commitment to follow you, whatever the cost. Amen.



Creator of the universe, Redeemer of all creation,

you made the world in beauty, yet too often it is filled with ugly realities.

We trust that you are at work in all situations, restoring and renewing all things.

On this day, we find the courage of Jesus inspiring, so we pray that those in need will find such courage, too,

as your gift to make a difference in the challenges they face.


Hear us as we bring to you our concerns,

and send your redeeming power to touch our lives and your world once more.


Wherever people are oppressed by the powers of poverty, sickness or grief,

ease their pain and restore them to wholeness.

Lord, in your mercy,       Hear our prayer.


Wherever people challenge regimes or systems marked by tyranny and brutality, encourage them with your Spirit and lead them to liberty.

Lord, in your mercy,       Hear our prayer.


Whoever has been sucked down a road by those who promote lies and misinformation, release them from the tyranny of evil.

Lord, in your mercy,       Hear our prayer.


Wherever people are burdened by the weight of hostility, greed or jealousy,

restore their strength to resist and show them signs of hope.

Lord, in your mercy,       Hear our prayer.


Wherever people are persecuted because of race or creed,

or for the truth they tell; let your truth and justice prevail.

Lord, in your mercy,       Hear our prayer.


When we turned off our lights yesterday during Earth Hour, we were reminded of the need to use the Earth’s resources responsibly. We pray that we will carry this reminder throughout the year.

Lord, in your mercy,       Hear our prayer.


Wherever the earth cries out because people consume too much and ignore the danger signs,

are careless of the ground and water, ignore the signs pointing to endangered climate and endangered species, let your love for the goodness of creation move the hearts of your people.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray for the church, and that God will keep it faithful in worship, humble in service, gracious in spirit, grounded in truth and persistent in proclaiming the good news of the gospel.


We pray for your church in every place, whether it be fragile or strong, tired or energized. Inspire us with your Holy Spirit to offer ourselves in gratitude for the gift of Jesus Christ, serving creatively and courageously in his name:


We give thanks for the leadership of the Rev. Amanda Currie while she served as Moderator and for the support of the Committee to Advise with the Moderator during her term. We pray for the committee on Thursday as they count the ballots for the Moderator-Elect for the upcoming General Assembly for 2021

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray for our community especially lifting Students, Teachers, and the many different Support Staff in our schools and colleges as they end the two weeks of Spring Break. May they have been re-energised and refreshed for the remaining months ahead.

Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


Hear us as we pray to you in silence for those situations close to our hearts.

In your grace and love, restore all things according to your will.

(Hold a silence)


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


Now we pray as Jesus taught us:



Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


HYMN       217  Ride on, ride on in majesty



May our Lord whose arms were spread on the cross to embrace the whole world help us this week to take up the cross and follow him. May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, the love of Christ embrace you and the power of the Holy Spirit be yours this day, this week and always



674 In the Bulb there is a flower.