Pews News 5 March 2020 – Palm Sunday

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05 Apr 2020 Palm Sunday

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you

As we begin our journey to the cross, this week will bring with it all kinds of emotions. Never have I not been to church on Palm Sunday! Never have I missed Holy Week or Easter. This year I must do things differently. When I was in the Holy Land….  I became very good friends with one of the pilgrims, Sarah, an Ordinand at Cuddesdon, single mum, violinist and all round creative human being. Sarah is on placement in the London Diocese and has put together some reflections for today and Holy Week. I have added my pictures and reflections, so between us we hope this will help you through a week of reflection. Monday – Thursday will be sent out at 7pm with a link to hear or read compline/night prayer at 9pm. I’m still working on Good Friday but will keep you posted. The readings here are for the Liturgy of the Palms, the Passion reading from Matthew is very long, so I encourage you to look up the readings and sit quietly with a cuppa at some point during Palm Sunday.  If you have last years palm cross lying around, dig it out, alternatively you could be creative an make a new one, some people are drawing a cross on their hand and don’t forget to find a nail to carry in your pocket this week.

Gospel reading from: Matthew 21. 1-11
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 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. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 
“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.” 
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 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!” 
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Interior, Church of Bethphage, Mount of Olives

The village of Bethphage is remembered as the starting point of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the day that is marked as Palm Sunday.
The exact location of the village, on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives and close to Bethany, is uncertain.

The name in Hebrew means “House of unripe figs” — recalling that in this area Jesus caused a fig tree with no fruit to wither (Matthew 21:18-22).
In recent years security restrictions have sometimes prevented it, but this is where the annual Palm Sunday walk into Jerusalem usually begins. Imagine the scene…

Palms are not even mentioned in Matthew’s gospel, see the frescos on the walls of the church?  And Jesus sits on both a donkey and a colt, surely not at the same time! And what of the crowds, one minute they are crying “save us and help us”, the next, “crucify him”. Jesus has planned all this, every move, so his procession begins at the Mount of Olives.From this position in the above photo you can see Jerusalem ahead of us, down on the western side is the City of David and the Kidron Valley at the bottom separating the Mount of Olives with the city.

No one really knew what would happen over the coming days, this king they expected, this king they had so many high hopes for, this king whose power was beyond their understanding. A king who rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, a beast of burden not a beast set for a king, not a stallion nor in a chariot. And why was he going up to Jerusalem at that time….he was a pilgrim, it was the Passover festival and he was going to set things straight, to challenge the religious hotheads, to unsettle those in power. Jesus is going to take back and establish God’s kingdom, he’s going to save his people. And he did, Jesus restored sovereignty – and it cost him his life.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes hosanna cry;
O Savior meek, pursue your road
with palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die:
O Christ, your triumphs now begin
o’er captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
The winged squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wond’ring eyes

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Your last and fiercest strife is nigh;
the Father on his sapphire throne
expects his own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
bow your meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O God, your pow’r and reign.

Let us pray
God of justice, bless those who work for peace through justice.  Strengthen their resolve in the face of seemingly endless violence.  Guide the leaders of the peoples of the Middle East to know your will and to support a just peace for all of your children. God of love, lifting up the holy land for all humankind, breathe love and compassion into our prayers with a desire for nothing other than peace:  peace in our hearts, peace for all creation, and especially peace in the land that is called holy.
God of mercy, even as we long to understand that which is often beyond our comprehension, we lay before you the hearts, minds and bodies of all those suffering from conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, and from the ongoing occupation. Shower upon all the people of this holy land the spirit of justice and reconciliation.
God of the nations, give to all our people the blessings of well-being, freedom, and harmony, and, above all things, give us faith in you that we may be strengthened to care for all those in need until the coming of your son, our Saviour and Lord.

Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race
sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Holding your palm.. 
God our Saviour,
whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer and to die;
let these palms be for us signs of his victory and grant that we who bear them in his name
may ever hail him as our King,
and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.
The blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit +
be among you and remain with you always.

First Reading: Isaiah 50.4-9a

Second reading: Philippians 2.5-11

Gospel reading: Matthew 26.14-27.66

Please pray for:

Healing: Blake, Sam Evans, Reuben, Margaret
David, Don. Karl, Hugh, Sarah, Mark, Elsie, Lesley, Refugees, Prisoners, the Homeless and those who mourn.

The lately departed Jack Brear, Cyril Albone, Brian Johnson and those whose anniversary falls at this time.

Community prayers: Clewer Green School, the head teacher Martin Tinsley and all the pupils, staff and governors.

Parish Cycle of Prayer: Please pray for all who live in Clewer Park, Mill Lane, White Lilies Island, Clewer Court Road, Swan Terrace, Petworth Court and the Boatyard Flats.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: We pray for the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean and for the churches in Meru (Kenya), West Malaysia, the Episcopal Church in Idaho, Michigan, West Texas, Milwaukee, Western Kansas,  Minnesota, West Virginia & West Tennessee (USA), Mexico, Ideato, Minna, Idoani & Western Izon (Nigeria) and Kowloon (Hong Kong)   

Please continue to pray for and support your neighbours and families in any way you can whilst keeping yourself safe.

Palm crosses – see this link to a PDF or this link to a page on the Diocese web site, to show you how to make one, you could also make a palm leaf and post on your front door or in your window.

Easter Morning – Bells and Bonfires. As we cannot be together this year, how about having a small bonfire in the bbq, or light a candle outside and ring a bell at 6am? Just to let the world around us know that it is Easter morn.

Symbols of Joy and Hope Challenge –  I’m setting you all a challenge to knit, crochet, sew, felt, cross stitch (anything made with material and wool etc) things that bring you joy. Things like flowers, a cross, birds, the sun, hearts etc, no bigger than the size of a coaster. After this is all over I’ll collect them all in and we can put them all together to make a banner or altar frontal. A wonderful colourful display of joy and hope. It would be lovely if we can join in this challenge together. Whilst you are crafting you can pray for people, perhaps sew their name into the symbol or on the back or even the bible verse that has inspired the subject?

Hymn of the Day – The Royal School of Church Music has free resources, including their Hymn for the Day. Click here for details. You can sing along if you like, the words will appear on screen as the music plays.

Video of the Passion of our Lord, according to Matthew – Great St Mary’s, the University Church in Cambridge has posted an excellent video today. Click here to view it on YouTube.

Church Finances- message from Andrew
With the suspension of church services our income is likely to fall and, while some of our costs will be reduced, others will be incurred whether we are “open for business” or not. In the light of this suspension of services you might like to consider continuing your regular giving by paying directly to our bank account, the details of which are:
HSBC Bank, High Street, Windsor
Sort Code: 40-47-37
Account number: 11373366 
Account name: PCC St Andrews Church

The Parish Office is now closed for two months.
Sharon (our administrator) is currently on furlough

Out of hours office number: 07490 094261
Email:   –  Stuart will pick up any emails
Revd Rosie Webb:
Tel: 01753  852334
Parish website:
Churchwarden: Stuart Cockman

 Pastoral helpline number: 07946 590223

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