(Portions of this prayer are adapted from the Liturgy for Palm Sunday in the Moravian Book of Worship used by permission of the Interprovincial Board of Communication)
The watchword for the week:
Jesus said, “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'” Mark 14:62
Say to those who today possess a heart of fear, “Be strong and fear not. Behold, God will come and save you.”
“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will gather his lambs in His arms, and carry them close to his heart.”
Behold your king is coming to you.
During this week we seek to walk with Jesus, to learn of his passion for the sins of the world and his desire that we might have eternal life.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.
11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.
Confession of Sin
If we say that we have no sin we are simply fooling ourselves, but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will not only forgive them, but cleanse our hearts, making us a new creation.
Our sovereign Redeemer, we join with the people of Jerusalem offering our own shouts of praise and celebration at your coming. Although we often welcome you as did the multitude on Palm Sunday, we have not always understood what that meant. We confess as well that we have stood with the condemning crowd on Good Friday with our betraying thoughts, words, and actions showing our lack of faithfulness. And like Peter we have, at times, denied our relationship with you through our silence. We turn to you for help and forgiveness, gracious Savior, not because we deserve it, but because you are forgiving. Save us from our sinful ways, and restore us to a life of loyalty to you. Amen.
A silence is observed, giving each penitent the opportunity to reflect on their own particular shortcomings, and upon the gift of God’s grace.
We are reconciled to the Father through sacrifice of the Son. Rejoice in your new found life.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.
This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage. If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, you can get the on-line version of the Daily Texts at www.moravian.org. Don’t rush over these words as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to. So read slowly and deliberately. Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that are present with you today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world. May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready, continue with the prayer as follows:
As you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Almighty God, we are continually amazed at the way you turn the world upside down. For a Savior of the world we would have chosen a powerful prince,
But you chose a carpenter’s son born under questionable circumstances.
For disciples to help Jesus through his ministry we would have chosen well connected wealthy people of the upper class to bank roll the operation,
But you chose fishermen, a tax collector, and other such outcasts.
For a grand entrance into Jerusalem, we would have chosen a white Stallion,
But you chose a donkey.
When riding high in the polls on Palm Sunday we would have chosen to stay there as long as we could,
But you chose to clear the temple.
For a place of coronation we would have chosen a palace with a wonderfully decorated royal throne,
But you chose a cross.
For those who we would want to have included in the kingdom of God we would have chosen those who look and sound like we do,
But you chose the world with all of its challenging diversity.
For people to show the world the love and grace extended to us in Jesus Christ, we would have chosen somebody else,
But you chose each of us.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13