4 Apr 2020 • General news
Below please find a variety of material. Firstly readings, thought and prayers for Palm Sunday
Also a suggestion from our diocese, adapting an idea for Palm Crosses. See here:
Tim Mitchell writes:
“Do you want to be part of something BIG this weekend? We are encouraging everyone in the diocese, to make a palm cross using any material they like. Write across the horizontal limb ‘CHANGING CHURCH’ and down the vertical limb whatever you choose. For example, ‘UNCHANGING GOD’ or ‘FAITHFUL GOD’ or ‘JESUS SAVES’.
If possible, take a ‘selfie’ of you holding your palm cross. Then post it on your Facebook timeline at exactly 5.00 pm on Palm Sunday to remind everyone that the CHURCH IS ALIVE! (put a link to your Easter Day live-stream service beneath the photo).
You might also like to put your cross in your window where people can see it.”
Further details can be found here…
Diocese of Coventry - Holy Week and Easter Sunday
Template for cross here: http://www.dioceseofcoventry.org/images/document_l...
I am going to forward some children's resources sent to me by Dmitry. You only needed to open that if you are looking for things children can do. There are links to some videos on YouTube telling the Holy Week and Easer story that he has found
A suggestion that you look out for radio and TV services. On BBC1 at 10.45am a Palm Sunday Service from Hereford Cathedral and on Radio 4 a service at 8.10am as usual are two examples. You can also follow a variety of streamed services from church around our diocese, see the diocesan website for more details
Finally, an appeal. I have registered with the community resilience team at Coventry City Council. It would be good to know of any one who is willing to help during this crisis. It might be that you can deliver food parcels, be prepare to ring isolated folk. Please let me know if you might be willing to help so that a bank of volunteers in this electoral ward can be compiled. Currently it looks as though people will be needed to deliver food parcels locally, but let me know what you feel able to do. If you have a DBS certificate for any role you have it would be helpful to know that too.
Quite a great deal all in all. I hope you are all keeping safe and well. Let us know if you need anything.
Palm Gospel:Matthew 21. 1-11
1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ 4 This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’10 When he entered
5 let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death –
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Passion Gospel: Matthew 26.14 – 27-end
14 One of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 15‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ 18 He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’ 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
20 When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; 21 and while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22 And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ 23 He answered, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’ 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’ He replied, ‘You have said so.’
26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’
30 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the
31 Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, “I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”
32 But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called
47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.’ 49 At once he came up to Jesus and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you are here to do.’ Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?’ 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, 61‘This fellow said, “I am able to destroy the
From now on you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of Power
and coming on the clouds of heaven.’
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your verdict?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death.’ 67 Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, 68 saying, ‘Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?’
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’ 70 But he denied it before all of them, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ 71 When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ 72 Again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’ 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.’ 74 Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know the man!’ At that moment the cock crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: ‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.
1 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. 2 They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
3 When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 He said, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to it yourself.’ 5 Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.’ 7 After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. 8 For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, 10 and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.’
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said, ‘You say so.’ 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?’ 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
15 Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. 17 So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you, Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ 18 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. 19 While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’ 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21 The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’ 22 Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ 23 Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’
24 So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ 25 Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ 26 So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ 30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
32 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; 36 then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37 Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’
38 Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, 40‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, “I am God’s Son.”’ 44 The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’ 48 At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ 50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’
55 Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, 63‘Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, “After three days I will rise again.” 64 Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead,” and the last deception would be worse than the first.’ 65 Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.’ 66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
Mathew 21:1-11 Palm Sunday
In today’s Gospel passage we read about Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey. This fulfils the prophecy of Zechariah: ‘Say to daughter Zion, see, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey.’ When people saw him entering Jerusalem, they worshipped him as their long waited Messiah, as promised king of Jews. They shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ Perhaps the prophesy of Isaiah came to their minds, that the Messiah would come to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to recover the sight for the blind. Of course people interpreted this prophesy through the lenses of their own situation - the Roman occupation. People were hoping that the Messiah would lead them in a fight for their independence from the Romans. But Jesus had a different message. He came to proclaim the good news to those who do not know God; He came to bring freedom from the slavery of sin.
In 5 days’ time people’s attitude towards Jesus changed. They have moved from a position of honour, adoration and respect (Palm Sunday) to a position of total disbelief and giving up on Jesus (Good Friday).What has changed? Has Jesus changed? Not at all. Jesus remained faithful to God’s mission. On Good Friday Pilate asked the crowd who he should release: Jesus or Barabbas. The crowd went with Barabbas just as they were instructed by the chief priests and the elders. ‘What should I do with Jesus?’ Pilate asked, the crown shouted even louder, ‘Crucify him!’ We can see from today’s story that the people had given up on Jesus, they completely disowned and betrayed him.
The times we are living in now are not that different from today’s story in the Bible. We live in the times of fear, uncertainty, despair and perhaps desperation too. With the coronavirus outbreak in our country and worldwide at present, it is so easy to give up on Jesus and to blame God for everything that is happening.
My plea to you this morning is – ‘do not give up on Jesus.’ Remember that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has a plan, which He will deliver in his time, at his pace, and according to his glorious purposes. Meanwhile, as we are waiting, we can draw our hope and aspiration from all the promises we have in the Bible, which are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ through Jesus Christ. They all belong to us, because of Jesus and we can have access to them right now, at present.
So this morning, be strong, be courageous, take heart my brother and sister, place your trust in our unchanging God, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
I pray that in these uncertain times we may know the presence of Jesus to comfort us in our fears, to give us faith in our uncertainty and to walk with us every day of our lives. Amen
We stand with Christ in his suffering and recall all those who suffer in any way because of Coronavirus. We thank God for those who put their own lives at risk in the service of others especially workers within our health service, pharmacists and government agencies.We pray too for our Church and its leaders remembering the example of Jesus himself, asking that we may all have courage to follow his commands.
For forgiveness for the many times we have denied Jesus, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For grace to seek out those habits of sin which mean spiritual death, and by prayer and self-discipline to overcome them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For Christian people, that through the suffering of disunity there may grow a rich union in Christ, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For those who make laws, interpret them, and administer them, that our common life may be ordered in justice and mercy, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For those who still make Jerusalem a battleground, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For those who have the courage and honesty to work openly for justice and peace, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For those in the darkness and agony of isolation, that they may find support and encouragement, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For those who, weighed down with hardship, failure, or sorrow, feel that God is far from them,
let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For those who are tempted to give up the way of the cross, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
That we, with those who have died in faith, may find mercy in the day of Christ, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.