Sunday, April 2, 2023

The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers for Sunday, April 2, 2023 — Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

 

The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers
Sunday, April 2, 2023
Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday


Palm/Passion Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16;
Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 27:11-54
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Opening

Our King Palm Sunday
O Lord God, whose Son followed your will, both as Servant and Savior, and now rules in the hearts of those who accept him as King: Open our hearts to his rule, that we may rejoice in the blessings of his kingdom and share with those who honor him with their lives. In his name, we pray. Amen.

The Collect
(from the Book of Common Prayers)

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Call to Confession

Patient God, we confess that we love a parade. We are very happy to see banners waving and hear people shouting their praises. Our hearts thrill to the spectacle. But we fail to see the sadness on the face of the Savior; our shouts block out his sorrow. He comes to us as King, and we expect that royal treatment will follow. We do not and cannot believe that in a few days we will be among those who will turn our backs and run from his presence. How fickle we are, O Lord. Yet you continually forgive us and call us to turn our lives around--to see the needs of others, to reach out in trust and faith, to be willing to witness to your good news of saving love. Heal our hearts and give us courage for the days ahead; for we ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Though you have fallen short, God reaches out to you in loving forgiveness. God is with you, celebrating this day and walking all the way to the cross with you. For the time of salvation is near.

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
Imagine yourself as one of the disciples in the story, and you’re on your way to Jerusalem with Jesus. The road is dusty and dirty, and the sun is beating down. As you travel, Jesus begins speaking and predicts His death for a third time. What do you think about this? Are you confused, maybe even concerned? Jesus’ warning about the nature of his path did not apparently register with his disciples. This might be due to the fact that Jesus so often spoke in parables and metaphors.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Prophetic Books
Isaiah 50:4-9a
The servant submits to suffering


4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
     to know the word that sustains the weary.
  He wakens me morning by morning,
     wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
     I have not been rebellious,
     I have not turned away.

6 I offered my back to those who beat me,
     my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
  I did not hide my face
     from mocking and spitting.

7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
     I will not be disgraced.
  Therefore have I set my face like flint,
     and I know I will not be put to shame.

8 He who vindicates me is near.
     Who then will bring charges against me?
     Let us face each other!
  Who is my accuser?
     Let him confront me!

9a It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
      Who will condemn me?


A Psalm and A Prayer
Responsive Readings from the Psalms and Prayers
for Public Worship and Private Devotions

Psalm 31:9-16
I commend my spirit

In te, Domine, speravi

9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; *
    my eye is consumed with sorrow,
      and also my throat and my belly.


10 For my life is wasted with grief,
       and my years with sighing; *
     my strength fails me because of affliction,
       and my bones are consumed.


11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and
       even to my neighbors,
         a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
     when they see me in the street they avoid me.


12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *
     I am as useless as a broken pot.


13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
       fear is all around; *
     they put their heads together against me;
       they plot to take my life.


14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. *
     I have said, “You are my God.


15 My times are in your hand; *
     rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
       and from those who persecute me.


16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
     and in your loving-kindness save me.”


Heavenly Father, we live in troubling times. Every nation upon the earth seems to be facing problems that appear humanly insurmountable. Yet, we know that nothing is impossible with You. We pray that You would preserve us from trouble, and protect all who trust in You. Help us to rightly understand the Scriptures, so we will know the way to go and be aware of the times in which we live. No matter what happens, we will rejoice in You with glad and holy hearts. Amen.

From the Epistles
Philippians 2:5-11
Death on a cross


2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
     did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7 rather, he made himself nothing
     by taking the very nature of a servant,
     being made in human likeness.

8 And being found in appearance as a man,
     he humbled himself
     by becoming obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!


9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
     and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel Acclamation
(Phil. 2:8-9)

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.

How quickly the crowds of Palm Sunday disappear. The loud “Hosannas” echo in the stillness of the night. The cry of the crowd that gathers on Good Friday is not “Hosanna to the highest” but rather, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Today’s Gospel Reading
Matthew 27:11-54
The passion and death of Jesus


27:11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.

19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.

“Barabbas,” they answered.

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Here end the Readings

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed


  • We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
  • And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.
  • And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer


Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that 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.

Holy Communion


A nondenominational serving of bread and wine
Though no video can truly replace the experience of celebrating together in our places of worship, we know that where two or more are gathered, the Lord is present. This table is open to all who recognize Jesus Christ as healer and redeemer. This table is open to all who work to bring God’s Kingdom here on earth. No one is turned away because of life circumstances. No one is barred from this table. No one seeking God’s abundant grace and mercy is turned aside. We see before us the abundance that a life of faith offers as we respond to God’s everlasting mercy in prayer and deed.

Benediction

Lord, just as we have entered Jerusalem with you, be with us in all the Jerusalems we will be facing. Guide our steps. Encourage our hearts. Give us abundant faith to follow you. Amen.

Hosanna

Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets].

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Responsive Readings from the Common Book of Prayer (1789).

The Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2023, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2022 was Year A. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest on what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers for Sunday, April 2, 2023
Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 27:11-54

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