THEME

Palm Sunday - Jesus enters Jerusalem

BIBLE REFERENCE

Mark 11: 1-10


INTRODUCTION

The town's most famous resident has come back from doing good works in an earthquake zone. He used to be best known as a pop star, but now everyone thinks he's a hero too. You and your friend decide to go into town and watch him arrive. It should be a really great show. He'll have a great big car - maybe one of those stretch limos - and maybe lots of motor-cycles as an escort. Your friend has lots of little flags to wave, and you nagged your mum until she gave you an old sheet so you could make a banner. So now you're off on the bus to the Civic Centre.

There's a real crush in town. You have to push to get anywhere with a view and you and your friend end up standing on a low wall outside the town hall. Excitement mounts. You can hardly bear the tension. And then there's the sound of a horn. He's coming! The flags are waving, you struggle to keep your banner up.

But wait a minute. What's going on? What's that coming round the corner? An old estate car! You can hardly believe it! There must be some mistake. But sure enough, as it draws near, there he is... The most famous resident... In a battered old motor... No limo in sight... amazing.

But as he waves, another roar goes up - after all, he is a hero. Think what he's done! The crowd goes wild.


KEY VIDEO CLIP


From Episode 9: Trapped!


PRAYER

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem the people cheered because they thought he was a king.
They waved palm branches to greet him. But within a week they had forgotten this triumphant, king-like procession and were shouting out again, cruelly this time, as if Jesus was a criminal.
Let us spend a moment silently thinking about what we would have done if we had been in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
And let us pray that, all through our lives, we will be able to recognise true, lasting riches, and value them.
Amen


NOTES

In this Storykeepers episode Tacticus, the Roman soldier who is sympathetic to the Christians, has been challenged by Nero to admit or deny being a Christian. This story of Jesus's entry into Jerusalem to face the last week of his life, is told by Ben to show that there is a time when people have to reveal what and who they are, whatever the danger.

Another aspect of the gospel story is the way in which the crowds greeted Jesus enthusiastically, thinking of him as the Messiah who came as their king; ironically the same fickle crowd would turn against Jesus in the course of the coming week and condemn him to death. The two clamorous crowd reactions at either end of the sombre Holy Week story are part of the dramatic sculpture of the gospel narrative.

The introductory story for this collective worship deals mainly with the idea of the good hero figure who arrives in an unexpected way, displays humility and is a potential victim of crowd mentality.



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