Mar 19

Palm Sunday (Year B)

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

  • This psalm practically begs to be used as a litany or a Call to Worship.  The repeated chorus of “His steadfast love endures forever” can be sung, chanted…you name it!  And the energy that is present in the text certainly fits the joy and awe-filled service that so many of us are expecting on Palm Sunday.
  • If you are using palm branches in worship, be sure to wave them during the reading of this text.  And you can use them in your sanctuary decor, too.  Most craft and hobby stores carry a variety of artificial flowers and plants – including potted palms of various shapes and sizes.  Yes, you can use real palm plants, too…but the artificial ones only demand that you dust them from time to time (no green-thumbs required).  Check websites – including Facebook pages – for coupons before heading to the store to find what you need.
  • In verse 27, the psalmist sings that the Lord “has given us light”…  If you want to add an unexpected – but very fun – twist to your Palm Sunday celebration, why not crack-to-activate a bunch of glow sticks and distribute them to the congregation?  Now you can wave glow sticks and palm branches as you give praise to God!

Mark 11:1-11

  • We are all familiar with this story – or, at least we all think we know it well.  There are lots of fascinating things to explore in this text, though.  Be sure to get out your favorite commentaries and do some study on this scripture.  If you don’t have any commentaries on your bookshelves, there are some pretty good commentaries available online.  For a great list of links, visit The Text This Week.
  • Want to set up a worship display that will have people talking for weeks (and maybe years) to come?  Do you have access to a colt or donkey?  (Yes…I’m totally going to suggest this…)  Invite the colt/donkey to worship.  Set up a small stall in the front of the worship space, covering the floor with a large (waterproof) tarp, as well as “coats” (large fabric pieces) and palm branches.
  • If you are artistic (or, if someone in the congregation it), you can “illustrate” the text as you read it or preach from it (see picture above).
  • I mentioned waving palm branches earlier, but I will mention it again.  If you are using palm branches in worship today, I encourage you to really use them.  I’ve been to one-too-many Palm Sunday services where the whole congregation acts as if they are embarrassed to wave the branches and really shout out “Hosanna” to the Lord.  Worship leaders: we set the tone.  Wave those branches like you mean it!

John 12:12-16

  • Like I said about the Mark passage, you will want to check some commentaries on this text.  Again, The Text This Week has links to online resources that are worth checking.
  • The last sentence of this passage presents us with something to consider: what is it that we remember about Jesus when we think about this story?  If you are looking for a different focus on the text, these last few verses may help with that.
  • Don’t forget: wave those palm branches!  Joyful, dynamic, energy-filled worship starts with you!

1 ping

  1. Easter Sunday (Year B) » The Worship Closet

    […] A portion of this same psalm was (possibly) read on Palm Sunday.  You can read my notes from that Sunday here. […]

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