Palm Sunday

Humble Service – 24 March 2013

Welcome to our first Family Service (aka Messy Church) for this year.  As it is Palm Sunday we will ALL be participating in the service together from the moment we arrive to the time we continue the journey home along the “purple path to the cross” this Holy Week.

The dramatic reading that we are using is based on the work of Gerry Adam who is a storyteller, camp director, and Christian educator in London, Ontario.  We have adapted it from the Seasons of the Spirit curriculum for our use today.  We will gather in the Atrium together to get a sense of being “in the crowd” and not being in our comfort zone.  What would it have been like to be part of the crowd on Palm Sunday and again on Good Friday?  These are two very different kinds of ‘crowd’ experiences.

From the excitement of Palm Sunday, to the sharing of the Last Supper, we begin the hard Holy Week journey through Good Friday to Easter Sunday. And on that journey we encounter humble, ordinary, everyday things like palm branches, a colt, a room, a table, bread, wine, a kiss… all echoing through time, punctuated by the blows of a hammer on rough wood-

This is a story of strong feelings, of a great gathering joy, deep despair, loneliness, but still hope. A series of storytellers and their children and grandchildren take part, each of them carrying a symbol of their part of the story. When their part is told the children will place their symbol on a table and depart from the other storytellers. As the story unfolds and the tellers each leave it is hoped that there will be a real sense of the abandonment that Jesus experienced as he drew closer to his crucifixion. Yet as these tellers join the rest of the community may we all experience the hopefulness in the gathering, the remembering and the cries of praise that could not be contained as even “stones would shout out.”

We have been following Jesus’ journey towards the cross which took a clear directional focus from Luke 9:51 where Jesus turns his face towards Jerusalem.  This journeying dominates the next ten chapters of the gospel because Jerusalem is important to Luke.  The drama presented today is based on the Gospel of Luke starting with the passage from Luke 19:28-40 and concluding at Luke 23:50-56.  I hope that you will enter into the spirit and power of this story, which needs to be told and retold again and again to each generation.

As we journey together through Holy Week, you are invited to gather this Thursday evening at 7pm for a quiet reflective communion service.

Good Friday service will be at 8am next Friday morning.

Sunday 31st March is Easter Sunday and we will celebrate together from 9am – 10am.

Easter Sunday has historically been a day of celebration where the Christian Church baptizes new converts and reaffirms the faith and witness of all Christian believers.  It’s considered to be the “high point” of our faith.  As a response to that history, next Sunday several of the Adults and some of their children have asked to be baptized by full immersion.  The Uniting Church welcomes the opportunity to share in this mode of baptism at any time.  As a result I’d like to invite everyone in the congregation to join in the Baptism of Russane Seoud and Wing Brett as well as the re-affirmation of Baptism of Ellyott in Currumbin Creek at Childers Park on Duringan Street, (where the rusty Pelicans are) Currumbin (a map is enclosed in the bulletin).

We will share a BYO picnic lunch at 12.30pm on Easter Sunday (31st March) followed by the celebration of Baptism in the Currumbin Creek.  Please let me know if you are intending to come so that we can ensure everyone is included on the day.

Have a very HOLY WEEK…this week.  Rev. Brad Foote   

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