Palm Sunday, April 1, 2007
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor
Almighty and gracious God,
our hearts are lifted this day and we rejoice.
As we lift palms and holy hands toward you,
so now do we lift praises and prayers,
confident that you hear us,
confident that you abide with us still.
on this day we shout “Hosanna!”
on this day we proclaim “baruch ha-ba b’shem adonai!”
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
and in doing so, we join our voices with the company of saints
throughout time and place,
from the ancient temple of Jerusalem to the streets of Chicago today,
who forever sing your praises.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
As we say these words of welcome as Jesus enters the blessed city
and sets into motion the sacred events of Holy Week,
may this shout of joy and anticipation,
be for us also a call to action.
May we too come in the name of the Lord,
may we too go out into this world in the name of the Lord,
proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God,
bringing your kingdom to life here and now.
May this sacred story transform our very beings,
that filled with the power of the Spirit,
we would proclaim with joy and passion the great and awesome day of the Lord,
a day of peace and justice,
a day of equality and righteousness,
a day of healing and wholeness,
a day of love and compassion.
And Lord, as we embark this morning down the mysterious and wondrous path
toward the cross,
may we never forget that this day comes at a cost,
that before this week is through,
we will suffer the greatest loss,
but also enjoy the greatest victory.
Great indeed is the mystery of our faith.
hold us in your tender mercies this week.
Strengthen us to run the course you’ve laid before us,
comfort us when we grow weary,
shield us when we are attacked,
love us with your unending love.
fill us now with your Holy Spirit,
that as we enter Jerusalem with Christ,
we might be transformed into his likeness,
to be your presence here in this city,
even now as we join our voices with his in the prayer he taught us to pray: Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church