Psalm C April 10, 2022
Palms C April 10, 2022
Luke 19: 28-40
CALL TO WORSHIP
Inspired by the hymn “Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang,” by Jennette Threlfall (1873), The New Century Hymnal #213
One: Hosanna, hosanna, loud Hosanna!
Many: Blessed is the one who comes.
One: Hosanna, hosanna, loud Hosanna!
Many: May the rivers of justice run.
One: Children singing, families dancing,
Many: The elders give a shout!
One: Peace in heaven, glory in the highest!
Many: Even the stones cry out!
One: Hosanna, hosanna, loud hosanna!
Many: May our refrain never cease.
One: Not by power nor by might,
Many: But the way that makes for peace.
Hosanna to the Holy One.
Hosanna! Shouts of praise!
Come, we cry. Lord Jesus, come!
We gather in Your Name.
Before your congregation reads the gospel passage for this special day, invite the children to close their eyes and engage their God-inspired imagination. Then read the following set of questions, as many or as few as you like, asking them to bring to mind an image of their favorite personal hero. It can even be a group of heroes if they wish. They can be super heroes, or they can be ordinary heroes.
Think to yourself:
Why is this person my hero?
What makes them special?
What admirable qualities do they have?
Imagine them coming down the road and inviting you to join along behind them. Now ask yourself:
Where are we going?
Why are we going there?
What kind of place will it be?
Is it a place of meaning and purpose?
Maybe this hero of yours has done some extraordinary things, working for good and standing up in the face evil.
Would it be risky of you to follow along?
Is it a risk you are willing to take?
Watch as your hero begins to draw in others to join with you. The world is watching, and your journey has now become a parade.
What kind of people have joined with you?
Are they people you feel a strong sense of connection with?
What is it about this group that connects you all?
Is it your hero?
Is it the cause?
Is it the attention?
Maybe some have joined just to be a part of the “in-crowd.”
Maybe not you though. Maybe you want to make the biggest impact and tell the world about this hero of yours, or at least the cause your hero represents.
What props do you use to help others identify with them?
What is their message?
What is their cause?
What kind of clothes are you wearing?
What signs do you hold up?
Are they signs or symbols that have special meaning?
What message do you expect to convey to the onlookers?
What kind of response to you expect from the crowd?
What anthems are playing or songs are you singing?
How do you feel?
What is going through your mind?
Perhaps you feel like a celebrity, being on display as part of this celebration. Perhaps you feel confused, having to face the truth that others might not think of your hero or your cause the way you do. Perhaps you feel afraid, because you know that your hero is unwelcome in the community you are parading through.
Ask yourself again:
Where is this hero taking you?
Is it a place of meaning and purpose
If so, what is its meaning and its purpose?
When you have asked the final question, invite the children to open their eyes and share about their imaginary parade was like.
Consummate Creator, Lover of Life, Giver of all that is Good,
We have forsaken our calling and abandoned your love.
We have paid lip service to life while serving the powers of death.
Violence parades through the streets of our world.
It normalizes oppression and disavows truth,
Without regard for human life.
We see it in our schools, our sanctuaries, our soil.
We find it on the borders of our nations and our neighborhoods.
In our politics.
In our pockets.
In our religion.
In our relationships,
Violence has invaded the habits of our hearts.
The time for transformation has come upon us
And found us unprepared.
Creation groans, the stones shout out.
The Church has remained silent.
Forgive us we pray.
Revive our communities.
Restore our hosannas.
Rekindle our flame for justice.
That again we may join with Creation and proclaim,
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”
One: Hear and receive the good news.
God has not abandoned us to the violence of this world.
The power of life that brought creation into being is with us.
The Prince of Peace has come, with grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
Blessed be the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Many: Hosanna! Glory be to God. Amen.
CALL TO OFFERING
One: Hosanna to the God who loves us,
Who heals us.
Who calls us to give ourselves
For the sake of the world,
When we were afraid, God, you became our fortress.
When we were lost, God, you were our way.
When we were alone, God, you were there beside us.
In you, we live.
In you, we move.
In you, we are made whole,
You have showered us with blessing.
We offer our gratitude.
Hosanna in the highest!
Let us gather our gifts together and offer them to God.
May these gifts be used to bring healing, wholeness, and joy to the world God so dearly loves. Amen.
Now, may the grace of God go with us. May God’s face shine upon us. May we carry God’s peace into the world, offering the wholeness and healing we have received. May our lives be our Hosannas. Amen.
Shout Hosanna: Service Prayers for Psalms C was written by Michael Anthony Howard, who serves as Minister of Faith in Action for the Living Water Association, Ohio NorthEast, of the Heartland Conference, United Church of Christ.