Palm Sunday in the Park

The sun was shining, the air was fresh, the wind was still, the birds were singing and we were amongst friends – what more do you need to celebrate Palm Sunday?

Opening Prayer. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you; righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)

As the people spread their palm branches on the ground to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem, so we welcome him into our lives this morning. Lord Jesus, Servant King, fill our lives this day and every day. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord Hosanna in the highest.

Grayden said he felt cheated on Palm Sunday if he didn’t sing Ride on, ride on in majesty, so he led us in saying the words of the three verses he thought were the best.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!

Hark! all the tribes Hosanna cry;

O Saviour meek, pursue Thy road

With palms and scattered garments strewn.


Ride on, ride on, in majesty!

In lowly pomp ride on to die!

O Christ! Thy triumph now begin

O’er captive death and conquered sin.


Ride on, ride on, in majesty!

In lowly pomp ride on to die;

Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,

Then take, O Christ, Thy power, and reign.


We read the gospel account of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem from Mark 11: 1 – 11 and  Grayden shared a few thoughts on the    significance of what Jesus did from the passage.



  • Often preachers and writers claim that the borrowing of the donkey was miraculous, but obviously it was arranged by Jesus with some of his followers in a local village.  They decided on a password for collecting the donkey and Jesus promised that it would be returned as soon as he had finished with it. Just a normal human arrangement.
  • Also it often said that the crowd that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday was the same crowd that shout  “crucify him! ” four or five days later. Jerusalem probably had a population of about 50,000 in 30AD and it is estimated that for Passover there would have been at least 250,000 pilgrims in the city.  The people welcoming Jesus would probably have been a mix of followers, the sympathetic and interested and the curious. Those shouting “crucify” were  a “rent a mob” of locals organised by the Jewish authorities.
  • Judas Iscariot was not as evil as is often claimed.  He probably had Zealot sympathies and when he saw Jesus ride into Jerusalem on a donkey his heart sank as he realised that there wasn’t going to be an uprising. By betraying Jesus he was hoping to force him to lead a rebellion. If he had just wanted the money and hadn’t cared about what happened to Jesus then he wouldn’t have committed suicide.
  • Jesus makes a strong statement by riding on a donkey. He is saying that he is not a warrior Messiah. He rejects the methods and values of the Roman Empire, the Zealots and the Jewish authorities; their way involves violence, force, domination and coercion. In contrast the Kingdom of God’s values are love and compassion and justice and mercy.

We spent some time using our imagination –     what would we write on a placard if Jesus              passed through Matlock.





Prayers of Intercession.

O Lord our God, We bring you the needs of our world, broken by division and suspicion, by hatred and war. (short silence for prayer)

We bring you the needs of our land, the hungry and homeless, the wounded and despairing. (short silence for prayer)

We bring you the needs of ourselves and our friends, seeking your peace and healing, your wisdom and protection. (short silence for prayer)

Lord, come to us, In compassion and love restore us, And make us people in whom your gentle and just reign is seen.




Prayer for sharing bread and wine on Palm Sunday.  

Lord God, we offer you our praise through Jesus Christ,

who on the first Palm Sunday came to us humbly and riding on a donkey.  

On the eve of his death, Jesus shared a meal with his friends.

Taking bread, he gave thanks, broke it, and offered it to them with these words:

This is my body broken for you. Remember me whenever you eat it.

After the meal, taking the cup of wine,

He gave thanks, and offered it to them with these words:

This is my blood poured out for you, Remember me whenever you drink it.  

And so, we eat and drink in memory of Jesus,

And through this bread and wine we proclaim His death and resurrection,

giving life to all people and renewing all things.