Updated: Apr 12, 2020
This year life is a little different on Palm Sunday. Most years, we gather together to celebrate this important day in the story of God's people. Today, we're all restricted to our homes. Yet, we can still worship together. What we have put together below is a mini, home worship service of sorts.
(Feel free to listen to the following hymn. We usually sing this hymn on Palm Sunday.)
(Someone may choose to lead the call to worship and collect of purity. The leader reads the normal text, and all others present respond with the bold text.)
Call to Worship
Blessed by God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.
About the most important commandment, Jesus said: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.
The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
May we hear from and respond to God’s word today. Amen.
Collect of Purity (together)
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your Holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Word of God
(Below is a lesson that Pastor Chris has previously recorded. This lesson is set up in such a way that a family, couple, or individual may engage in the lesson with those who are in the recording. Feel free to skip the downtime when groups are discussing the scripture and insert your own discussion at home (minutes 7:28-10:47)!
Mark 8:22-26 (NIV)
22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”
Passage 1: Mark 6:30-43; 8:1-13
Passage 2: Mark 8:14-21
Passage 3: Mark 8:27-30
Passage 4: Mark 8:31-33
As you read these passages at home, consider the following:
What picture do these passages begin to create as you read them together?
How do they relate to one another?
How do the disciples look in these passages?
How do these passages connect to the main passage of the lesson, Mark 8:22-26?
(Rejoin the video at minute marker 10:47.)
Response to the Word of God
(Take some times at home to do the response activity along with the participants in the recording.)
Are you seeing Jesus clearly?
What is one way that Jesus is working in your heart?
What is one way that Jesus is working in your life?
What is one way that Jesus is working in someone else's life?
What is one way that Jesus is working in the world?
Given that today is Palm Sunday, how should we see Jesus?
(At this time it would be appropriate for a time of prayer at home.)
Someone at home may lead a prayer, and the following categories can be covered. Each category could be given to a different individual is so desired.
The church around the world: members and leaders. That they might stand strong in faith and lead boldly during this time.
The leaders of nations around the world. That they might seek wise council and lead with integrity during this time.
Individuals as they live life on the way of Jesus. That we might live with love and compassion.
Individuals who suffer from any grief or trouble.
Ask for rest for those whom have died and comfort for their families.
Pray for people you know who might be sick or affected by COVID-19.
Pray for those in essential businesses: workers in the medical field, grocery store workers, and other individuals who are working to keep our lives as normal as possible.
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer.
Beginning of the Passion
(This Sunday isn't just Palm Sunday, it also marks the beginning of Holy Week. We encourage you to read the passion narrative aloud at home to mark the beginning of the most important week in the history of God's people.)
Passion Narrative Passage: Matthew 26:14-27:66
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or image, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in all of us and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among, and remain with you always. Amen.