"My Favourite Island Church
- Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman CBE (1906-1984)
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CELEBRATE EASTER 2020 AT HOME WITH THE HELP OF THESE VIDEOS
Kindly made for us by +John who was due to take our Holy Week services at St. Alban's Church this year.
PALM SUNDAY 2020
On the first Palm Sunday Jesus entered Jerusalem, the holy city. He had been preparing his disciples for something significant to happen, although it doesn’t seem they had any very clear sense of what that would be. They did however make a bit of a fuss, laying cloaks and palm branches down in front of him, and they were joined in this by some of the townspeople who regularly gathered to welcome pilgrims, but by and large it wasn’t something to make the headlines.
Jesus came to Jerusalem, the city of which as a descendant of King David and even more so as the lord and master of all things, he was the rightful king. His disciples probably expected there would be some kind of a showdown in which he would show his glory in an unmistakable way; and so they cried out, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Jesus alone knew what would happen in just a few days’ time.
And of course most of Jerusalem simply went about their ordinary business. It was an unspectacular entrance. A funny kind of king who enters his own city riding on a donkey - a hidden king. But this seems always to have been the way with Jesus. Born in a stable, brought up by devout but unnoticed parents in an obscure part of the country, destined to die an apparently meaningless and shameful death as a criminal.
Perhaps you remember how St Paul wrote that Christ Jesus “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human form. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Phil.2.6-8).
So that is always the way with Jesus. He emptied himself. He still does. He always allows himself to be misunderstood, but still he comes. He comes to us as the Temple where he wants to be worshipped.
I suspect we sometimes look for his coming in spectacular signs and wonders. If only Lord you would show yourself unambiguously in all your power and glory then we would believe and worship you. But, no. He slips in in the most unlikely of ways by the most unlikely means.
Jesus is coming to you today. His coming is unlikely to be any more spectacular than his arrival in Jerusalem.
This is be a particularly relevant theme as we begin this strange Holy Week in which so much that is familiar to us is taken away. Jesus is coming to us, the holy place where he must be king. In this topsy-turvy world, we must be ready to receive him in the way he chooses to comes, not arrayed in the public splendour we might expect, but in humility, his glory veiled.
Blessing of the Palms Video
Main Palm Sunday Video
STATIONS OF THE CROSS VIDEO