Today I was led to do a blog about Holy Week. Most churches have had to scale down their usual sercvices and even closed their doors because with COVID 19 creating physical distance from one another, we are not permitted to gather together. It is important during this time that we remember we all have a personal relationship with God and our continued worship, prayer and time with God should not decrease nor stop because of this. You are responsible to keep connected. You are responsible for your prayer time with God. You are responsible for your worship. The church building should not keep you from that. Philippians 2:12 says “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” You are responsible to seek God out yourself. We usually hear an abbreviated version of the story of Holy Week leading up to Easter, but let’s read it and know for ourselves. Know about the sacrifice, the pain, the beatings, the determination, the love that Jesus had for us and what he went through to save us!
Read with me Luke 19:28-42.
What is known as Palm Sunday…
As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the people threw palm branches onto the rode; in his path…yelling
He who comes in the name of the Lord is truly blessed
and is King of all Israel.
Jesus had become very popular by now, many had heard of him or witnessed his great and mighty works. Healing people, raising people from the dead, bringing freedom and truth to their lives. Although he was well known, he did not make a grand entrance in to the town. He knew who he was and the authority that came with it, but he didn’t broadcast it. He came into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey. Always a person who walked in humility and without being grandiose, Jesus rode a donkey that was not even his own, but one borrowed.
The whole scene of Jesus coming in on a donkey was prophecy coming to pass. This same thing was said in Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your kings comes to you, righteous and victorious, low and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Palm branches symbolize triumph and victory!
Today we celebrate PALM SUNDAY…most churches (when they are open) would pass out palms to all members and visitors. My Dad always makes crosses out of the palms and we would hang them in our cars or up in the house. I’ve seen people put them in the back window of their car. And I also hang them up in my house, sometimes replacing the ones from last year or adding them to the bunch from the years past. It’s a reminder to me of what this Holy Week is about and what Christ endured. His crucifixion and how he rose from the dead for me. Little ole me. Wretched mess…me. Again a symbolism of triumph and victory! So if you’ve ever wondered what the fuss was about on the Sunday before Easter, now you know. Prophecy is coming to pass and Jesus begins his journey to the cross for you and I. Willfully and obediently he is moving towards his death. His love for us is immeasurable.
I’ll continue this chat tomorrow to see what the Monday of Holy Week holds.
Below are some ideas of what you can do with your palms.
Here 4soils.com offers five things you can do with your Palm Sunday palms to keep the spirit of the day fresh in your hearts all year long.
1. Make the classic Palm Cross from your branch. Tuck the Palm Cross in your Bible, place on your desk or like my mom, tuck behind your vanity mirror.
2. Include your palm branches in your Easter centerpiece. Tuck your palm fronds in your Easter flower arrangement as a reminder of Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week.
3. Have a family Palm Sunday parade. Get our kids in the spirit and march around your backyard joyously shouting “Hosanna.”
4. Return your palms to your church for Ash Wednesday next year. Some churches still follow the tradition of burning last year’s palms to use as the ashes on Ash Wednesday. Ask if your church follows this tradition and if they do not, they may be able to direct you to a local church that does.
5. Offer your palm to a friend or neighbor or stranger. Offering the palm branch can be a way of sharing God’s love, the miracle of Christ’s resurrection and the Good News of the life everlasting.