Palm Branches

John 12:12-13
“The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’  ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’  ‘Blessed is the King of Israel!’”

Revelation 7:9-10
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”

Isaiah 55:12
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Blessed King, to worship you is to join in the song of creation.

palm branches With one accord we welcome your redeeming entrance into our world.  Until the trees celebrate in your new earth, we will wave their branches to honour you.

Open our eyes to see how all green things bend down under your breath to give you glory.  May we know the joy of unified praise as we anticipate the King’s restoration of all things under heaven.

All glory be to Jesus Christ; creator of the tree he died upon and saviour to those who nailed him there.

Listen to ‘All Glory, Laud and Honor‘ featuring Matt Grimsley

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Curtain

Matthew 27:50-51a
“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

Hebrews 10:19-22a
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new a living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”

Romans 8:38-39
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Most Holy God, you dwell in a sacred and pure place.

curtainWith feet that have waded through the filth of this world we cannot enter the sanctuary reserved only for you.  In order to become the way, Christ absorbed the barrier into his perfect body.

Unveil your face and bring us boldly into the realm of your holiness. Reach from the heights and pull to the depths the curtain that separates us from knowing your love.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who through the torn fibres of his hands, feet and side has given us union with God.

Listen to ‘Man of Sorrows’ by Eric Graef

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Thirst

John 4:13-14
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’”

John 19:28
“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I thirst.’”

Isaiah 41:17-18
“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst.  But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.  I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys.  I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.”

Living God, you cup the waters of the earth, sky and sea in the hollow of your hand.

thirstLike the course of a dry riverbed our lives are drawn in dust.  To quench this thirst your lips were parched upon the cross.

Pour the overflowing stream of your Spirit into our dry souls.  Fill us with the drink that cost your Son his life.

This we ask in the name of the Son, the water of life that thirsted for us, the eternal pool emptied for us.

Listen to ‘In the Shadow of the Glorious Cross’ by Sojourn

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Marks

Genesis 4:10-11, 13, 14b, 15b
“The Lord said, ‘What have you done?  Listen!  Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.  Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand…’  Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear…whoever finds me will kill me.’…Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.”

Luke 23:18, 20b, 24-25
“With one voice they cried out, ‘Away with this man!  Release Barabbas to us!…Crucify him!  Crucify him!’… So Pilate decided to grant their demand.  He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.”

Isaiah 53:5
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Lord of all life, your mercy extends further than we are able to run from you.

marksYou marked a guilty man to save his life.  You marked an innocent man to redeem the souls of all who sin.

When we have offended, set us free in the knowledge that Christ has taken the murderer’s place, and our hope is found in the nail marks of his hands.

In the name of the Son we ask this, who made blood payment to release the rebel and save the unworthy.

Listen to ‘O Sacred Head’ by Michael O’Brien

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In the Morning

2 Samuel 11:2-4a, 14-15
“One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace.  From the roof he saw a woman bathing.  The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her.  The man said, ‘Isn’t this Bathsheba…the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’  Then David sent messengers to get her.  She came to him, and he slept with her…In the morning David wrote a letter…‘Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest.  Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.’”

Matthew 26:69-70, 73b-74, 27:1
“Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him.  ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee,’ she said.  But he denied it before them all.  ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he said…‘Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.’  Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!’  Immediately a rooster crowed…Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death.”

Isaiah 44:21b-22
“I have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you.  I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.  Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

Righteous God, we have stained the image of perfect faithfulness that you designed for us.

in the morningBecause of David’s night of sin, an innocent man was sent to his death.  After Peter’s night of betrayal, your innocent Son was put to death, securing a pardon for all our offences.

Forgive us for our failures in the dark hours.  May the rising light of the morning renew our hope for redemption.

For Christ’s sake we make our plea, who took our guilt upon himself to offer us a pure and blameless dawn.

Listen to ‘Just As I Am’ by Danny Donnelly

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Crossed Over

Exodus 15:19-21
“When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.  Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her with tambourines and dancing.  Miriam sang to them, ‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.  The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.’”

John 5:24
“‘I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.’”

Revelation 19:1-2a
“After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting, ‘Hallelujah!  Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgements.’”

Great and mighty Lord, by your power you have conquered death and you welcome us into your land of life.

Thank you that you have made a way for our feet to walk in safety through threatening waters.  We rejoice in the magnitude of your saving strength.

crossed overGive us voices to sing the good news to the multitudes.  May Christ, by whom we have crossed over, hear our ringing Hallelujahs.

It is in his name that we pray, who hurled death into a distant sea that we might dance in everlasting life.

Listen to ‘Revelation Song’ by Kari Jobe

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Limping

Genesis 32:24-26, 29b-31
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.  When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.  Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.  But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’…Then he blessed him there.  So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.’  The sun rose above him…and he was limping because of his hip.”

Matthew 15:30
“Great crowds came to [Jesus], bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.”

Job 5:17-18
“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”

Righteous Healer, your vision of wholeness spans infinite heights and depths.

limpingYou touch our pride, dislocating our self-sufficiency.  With compassion you strengthen our crippled souls to climb to glorious heights.

Bless us with a limp even as you heal us where we are lame.  In all circumstances may we come under your hand and look into your face.

For the sake of Christ we ask this; who in the darkness wrestled on our behalf, to take our wounds that we might be made whole.

Listen to ‘Broken for Love’s Sake’ by J. Andrews and Jennie Lee Riddle

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