We hope that you will be able to join us at some point during Holy Week on the Zoom or in Person on Good Friday for the Stations or to celebrate on Easter Day.
There will be Palm Crosses for you in Church if you would like them, please remember to gel hands before and after taking one.
I remember when Stephen and I visited the Holy Land in 2010 the awesomeness of coming up to the top of the hill on the coach, sadly not walking, and seeing, stretched before us the site of Jerusalem and the glorious colours of the stone and the golden top of the Dome shinning in the sunlight. It all bears little in resemblance to the moment Jesus and his disciples walked over the summit as most of the buildings were not there, however, the second temple would have greeted them over the walls of the city, alongside the olive trees at the mount of Olives. But we caught enough of the sight to be able to identify with what they would have seen.
The coming from Galilee involved rising from the lowest city on earth Jericho 800 ft below sea level to the heights of Jerusalem 3000 ft above sea level in the space of not more than 14 miles.
And they were coming to celebrate, can you remember the excitement of going to a festival or big event that everyone was heading for? Anticipation rising at what the day would bring? Picture yourself if you can then as the crowd accompanying Jesus, weary from that climb, but knowing they are entering the city with the King. The kingdom is arriving. Jesus instructs for a colt to be brought for him that he may enter the city on its back, not a stallion richly adorned, but a simple colt unridden before. Then the road is strewn with cloaks and palms and branches for him to ride the royal pathway. You don’t do this for just anyone, only an expected King, royalty, Hosanna they shout, blessed be the one who is come. Expectation is in the air, excitement, the King is entering the city.
Over the next few days as the Jews prepare for the Passover, festival time, the place is alive with people come to Jerusalem a festival not to be missed. Most of them will stay outside the city as Jesus did with the disciples in Bethany, probably with Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
You may have noted the last sentence of the first Gospel Reading from Mark “Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the disciples”. The next day scripture tells us Jesus went into the Temple and overturned the money tables.
Within the week there would be a fickle changing of minds for some to shouting Crucify him.
This is such a thought-provoking service on Palm Sunday, as we travel through the narrative. Our King arriving in Jerusalem, our King being misunderstood, our King turning the world upside down. We have joy and excitement as we sing the joyful songs of arrival at the city, yet within the hour we have heard the moving story of Jesus coming to the Cross which cannot but touch our hearts. Our Saviour throughout the narrative shows love and forgiveness for those who have left the path and pays the ultimate price on the Cross, for us, as for the peoples then, and we leave on a sombre note.
But for now, we have the joy and anticipation.
If you get a moment, follow the Art Project in Chard, either with a walking plan and/or on line, details are here: https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/hopecommunityartproject which can be reached without being on Facebook, or the Easter Stations and Trail, plus the glorious knitted and crocheted flowers at Combe St Nicholas Church.