Worship @ The Open Church
Sunday, March 24, 2013 -- 10:00 am
Palm Sunday and Worship through Community Engagement
A Centering Thought
“The proper work of Lent is not pious prayer — although that may be of assistance — but the work of removing oppression from your home, workplace, and social environment.” ~ Edward Hayes
Blessing and Distribution of the Palms
Call to Worship
Leader: Hosanna, ruler of all, creator of worlds! Hosanna, righteous Jesus, saving Lord! Hosanna, renewing Spirit, living word!
People: Triumphant Lord, reclaim this suffering earth. Redeem us from sin’s deadly grip. Restore to us the joy of our salvation.
Hymn of Praise: “He Is King of Kings”
Refrain: He is King of Kings, He is Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ the first and last, No one works like him. O He is King of Kings, He is Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ the first and last, No one works like him.
Verse 1: He built His throne up in the air, No one works like him, And called His saints from everywhere, No one works like him.
Verse 2: He pitched His tents on Canaan ground, No one works like him, And broke oppressive kingdoms down, No one works like him.
Verse 3: I know that my Redeemer lives, No one works like him, And by His love sweet blessings give, No one works like him.
All: God of grace, on this day we praise you for all that Jesus said and did during his last week on earth; for his humility, which preferred service to rule; for his boldness in the face of mortal enemies; for his touching sorrow over Jerusalem; for his gifts of bread and wine to be shared in remembrance of the gift of his life; for his words of faith and forgiveness even when dying in agony on the cross.
One: Long ago, on the first Palm Sunday, the children greeted him with shouts of joy. We pray for the children today; for children orphaned by senseless wars; for children born unwanted and unloved; for children abused by their own parents. Arouse our conscience, righteous God, about the fate of children who are being carelessly sacrificed on the altars of nationalism, imperialism, and economic and religious dogma. And energize us, we pray, to help at least one child in need of help.
All: We dedicate ourselves anew to be vessels of inspiration and transformation. Be with us today as we plant a garden in Baltimore. Indeed, Holy Week is a good time to be in a garden; for it was in a garden that Jesus declared, “Not my will, Lord, but your will be done.” In the garden of Eden, we fell from grace. In the garden of Gethsemane, grace picked us up. In the garden we plant today may food for the body and the fruit of the Spirit grow in great abundance for our sisters and brothers. We raise our palms in vain if we do not also lift our hands to lift burdens. We shout to
you, “Hosanna! Save us!” Help us to hear you as you whisper back to us, “I have given you the power to save yourselves by compassionate service to one another.” Amen.
Koinonia: A Care-Full Community (Koinonia is the New Testament word for “fellowship.”)
Offering: We give with open-handed generosity because when we give, we are most like God.
Prayer of Thanksgiving: We thank you, Lord, for these gifts. Amen.
Wisdom from the Scriptures
Song of Preparation
Invitation to Discipleship and Membership
*The Invitation to Discipleship and Membership takes diverse forms at The Open Church. Feel free to present yourself to our community during this time. You also may
acknowledge your desire for commitment to God and membership in our congregation to
any of our ministerial leaders during the fellowship hour after the worship service.
Purpose Pledge: We live on purpose. We love on purpose. We lift on purpose.
Closing Song: “We Are One”
We are one, we are one; we are one in the Spirit; we are one! Hallelujah, Hallelujah;
We are one in the Spirit; we are one!
Invitation to Service
As Jesus journeyed into Jerusalem, so, too, we journey into Baltimore to sow love and
hope in Jesus’ name. We will plant a garden today at the Park Heights Community Health
Alliance (4151 Park Heights Avenue, 21215).
The benediction will be given in the garden….
Highlights from Today’s Worship Service
The Open Church