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Sunday of the Passion
In this Bulletin ...
My Dear Friends,
I pondered hard and long for a message to share with you on this Palm Sunday, customarily referred to as our Lord's "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem. This phrase 'triumphal entry' bothers me somewhat as I try to come to terms with the brutal slaying of a Queens High School Sixth-former last Wednesday evening as she returned home from school. Meisha-Gay fell victim to a knife wound to her throat. What is painfully sad and tragic is that this took place while traveling in the back seat of a route taxi. She was robbed of her cell phone and money and, apparently, while resisting had her throat cut. This is not the kind of news I enjoy sharing with you on Palm Sunday. We, nevertheless, cannot escape the kind of brutality and terror that has been characteristic of life in Jamaica today. And so as a nation we must ask, "how long, Lord, how long?"
The distribution of palms and the enthusiastic shouts of Hosanna in the Highest might well give the impression that victory over those who wield their terror on our beloved country will come soon. What we will be reminded of during this Holy Week, however, is the fact that when the crowds returned from their enthusiastic reception, it is not to declare Jesus victorious but to demand his death. This is the great paradox of Palm Sunday and Holy Week. We look for a King and a Saviour but when He does not fit our idea of power and victory, we reject him by hanging him on a tree.
What becomes of a nation and a people when we murder our symbols of hope, as Meisha-Gay was for the Waltham Park community? What will a city and a people do with a Messiah who tries to usher in right relationships, goodness and peace, but is still rejected? We already know the answer to these questions for they are written on the faces and the actions of the Holy Week characters - in the vacillation of Pilate and the betrayal and denial of the disciples. For the majority of us, our response today is in our own silence and our feeling of helplessness. And yet as David Ford invites us to do in his brilliant poem on the cover of today's bulletin, we can shed some tears. Like Jesus, it is only our deep agonising tears for the nation, tears of sorrow and repentance, tears of rebirth and new life, that will begin to give us some hope. Jesus' tears were not for himself but for humankind, captive to death and disease, hurt and pain, disintegration and destruction - the enemies great weapon against love and peace. When we begin to shed our tears for our nation because of these things, then possibly we may be driven to seeing what part we may each play in finding a resolution to the things which ache the very heart of our nation.
You are reminded of the invitation to join with the Majesty Gardens community in a procession of witness today. We will leave here immediately following the 7:30 a.m. Service for the St. Andrew Settlement.
We express condolences to the families of Rev. Javan Gentles, retired priest and Rev. Harold Lynch formerly of St. Phillips, Whitfield Town.
You are expected to join us at 6:00 o'clock this evening for the Service of Confirmation when twenty-one persons will be presented to the Bishop to be confirmed.
Clergy and members of churches within the Half Way Tree Ministers' Fellowship are encouraged to join in the pastoral walk in the Half Way Tree area on Holy Thursday (Thursday of this week) The group will leave the Bethel Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. and will spend one hour meeting with people on the streets, share a prayer and greetings and extend a hand of fellowship.
Today we welcome all those visiting with us. Special welcome to
members of the ELCA Lutheran Church of Minnesota, headed by Pastor
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Seasons with the Spirit
Lord of life, you shared our life, you knew the grief of tears ...
Not gentle tears that trickle down the cheek
For you, the weeping over Jerusalem
you came to your own and they would not accept you;
And you wept ...
tears of rejection, for they would not respond to your love
Still you say: Follow me, take up my cross, weep with me.
To weep over the city, corrupt, polluted and condemned
Seasons with the Spirit
ALPHA 2005 - a practical introduction to the Christian Faith, will commence on Wednesday, April 13 and continue each week until Wednesday, June 22, 2005. Meetings will be at the Church Hall, 16 Ellesmere Road, 5:30 - 8:15 p.m. each evening. These courses have provided spiritual enrichment for many of our members who have participated in previous years. For further information please call the church office.
TOTAL SUNDAY SCHOOL The next Total Sunday School will be on Sunday, April 3 at 9:30 a.m. in the Old Court House. Please plan to participate.
CHORAL and FLOWER FESTIVAL. In continuation of the commemoration
of our 340th Anniversary, a Floral Festival is being arranged
for the weekend of April 16 to 18 here in the Parish Church and
on Sunday, April 17 at 4:30 p.m. a Choral Festival will be held.
Tickets for the Choral Festival are available at $500 each. Six
(6) choirs, including our own, will participate. This promises
to be a wonderful weekend and we expect your full participation,
and ask that you invite your friends to share in these activities.
Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
Corporate for the Women's Working Committee
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Page last updated: March 19, 2005
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