Sunday of the Passion: PALM SUNDAY | APRIL 5, 2020
ANNOUNCEMENTS | SERVICES CANCELLED WEEK 4
DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST,
As the ashes on Ash Wednesday remind us “you are dust and to dust you shall return,” those ashes on our skin show that, despite all the lies of our culture, nothing is hidden, or pretend, or made-up anymore. These days remind me of Ash Wednesday. But Passion Sunday calls us to an even more disturbing truth, that is, the ways in which we try to kill our God. The compassion that Jesus models through it all is about the willingness to face and absorb the hard truths of human violence, pride and weakness – and to love and forgive and stay with us anyway, so that sin and death will have no more power. It is a path to new life. We stop pretending and try to accept that we can’t always prevent the pain of our loved ones, and that we will hurt and fail others. At the dawning of the light of Christ, we learn that we can persevere even through a time like the year of the mask.
Love and Prayers, Beverly+
A Prayer in the Time of the Coronavirus
Almighty and All–loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we pray to you through Christ the Healer
for those who suffer from the Coronavirus Covid–19 across the world. We pray too for all who reach out to those who mourn the loss of each and every person who has died as a result of contracting the disease.
Give wisdom to policymakers, skill to healthcare professionals and researchers,
comfort to everyone in distress and a sense of calm to us all in these days of uncertainty and distress.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord who showed compassion to the outcast, acceptance to the rejected and love to those to whom no love was shown. Amen.
By Archbishop of Ireland, The Rt. Rev. Michael Jackson
PARISH PRAYER LIST Please hold the following people in your hearts before God.
Ryker Hurst, Vera Standing, Dan Donnelly, Bernice Nunes, William, Chase Phifer, Eleanor Young, Davi Elizabeth Reznik, Phyllis Doughty, Daria Warren, Elaine Austin, Donald Benson, Patrick Afoakwah, Phyllis Johnston, Easton Wilkinson, Bob Rotzinger, Angelica Wilkinson, Jan Barnes, Patti Johnston, Lu Emerson, Jonathan Tanner, Judy LaMarque, Stuart A. Wood, Aida Ledesma, Eunice Benson, Brad Gehrig, Robert Bennett, Buddy Brown, Emily, Judy Cavin, Marian Underwood, Gene LeTendre, Kyle Patrick, John, Tegan, Greta, Joan Schleicher, Billy Doughty, Linda Simpson and all of those serving in the military and their families. We pray for medical personnel, all first responders and law enforcement faced with this global pandemic.
EASTER SUNDAY ONLINE FROM ST. ANDREW’S
We are working on all the details to offer online video of an Easter
Service. Watch for more details, so you can tune in. With the help of a very
small circle of folks who will be complying with social distancing rules,
we hope offering this online worship in our beloved parish church will
be uplifting on Easter.
VIRTUAL WORSHIP AND RECTOR’S REFLECTION THIS SUNDAY
Tune into the Washington National Cathedral Sundays at 11:15 A.M. for their online live-streaming services. https://cathedral.org
We have moved many of our scheduled Holy Week services to an online format. Watch live with us:
• April 5: Palm Sunday Live Web Cast 11:15 A.M. Holy Eucharist
• April 9: Maundy Thursday Live Web Cast 7:00 P.M.Stripping of the Altar
• April 10: Good Friday Noon Service. Solemn Liturgy
• April 12: Easter Sunday Eucharist Live Web Cast at 11:15 A.M. (guest preacher Bishop Michael Curry)
Holy Week Pathways for Passion/Palm Sunday from the Rector coming your way again for this Sunday’s reading. Look for the Rector’s reflection on Palm Sunday about God’s passion in the conscious suffering that Jesus willingly takes on when he rides up to Jerusalem in honor and days hanging on a cross.
HOLY WEEK RESOURCES FOR YOU AVAILABLE ONLINE
SIGN-UP FOR DAILY MEDITATION FROM THE CATHEDRAL. On the Cathedral Web Site, tap online portal for details about sign-up. https://cathedral.org
MISSION OF ST. CLARE: If you are looking for a daily service or more, I believe you will be inspired by the offerings. The morning prayer office includes a cantor or choir for responsive psalms and readings. Try it out at https://missionstclare.com
I think you will be surprised!
DAILY EMAIL DEVOTIONAL: LIVING WELL THROUGH LENT 2020
This Lenten season, Living Compass is offering a daily email devotional,
Living Well Through Lent 2020: Practicing Courage With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind.
You will receive daily emails, one for each day of Lent, plus Easter. If at any point you no longer want to receive the emails, you can unsubscribe at any time.
ENROLL FOR FREE TO RECEIVE EACH DAY’S READING BY VISITING: https://livingcompass.org/lent
As you navigate your way through this strange and dangerous time, many of you have come up with creative ideas to keep your restricted and spiritual lives healthy. If you would be willing to share with me what has been working for you, write me an email. And let me know if you would consider it a slice of wisdom in the “year of the mask” that can be shared with the parish?
OUR CHURCH MAY BE CLOSED, BUT OUR PARISH IS ALIVE!
Your Rector will still be picking up the mail and Chuck Stein has offered to do the weekly count of donations even though we are closed. While buying a stamp and using it to mail in your weekly pledge to the parish or going to our Web Site at https://standrewsleonardtown.org
to make your financial contribution, please know that at this time of closure, it is very important and greatly appreciated. God Bless you.
SHEPHERDS BEGIN THEIR CALLING
Our team of Shepherds have started their calling pastoral ministry checking-in with members who we believe need a call during this national emergency. If you do not receive a call and would like to be added to the list, do not hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call the church office and leave a message, 301-862-2247.
EASTER FLOWER DONATIONS
Please consider sending in a $15.00 donation for our Easter flowers which we are hopeful will dress up our church for Easter Sunday and live long enough for you to enjoy them when we return to church services. Please provide with your check a note with the name of your loved one if you want your donation of flowers in thanksgiving for or in memory of your loved one .
Or click the following link to fill out your order online: https://standrewsleonardtown.org/upcoming-events
April 5, 2020 | Passion Sunday
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” …” He was speaking of the temple of his body. John 2:19-21
While I would never have conceived the notion that church would be suspended for so long, such a void challenges the very core of our faith and prompts a shift in our perspectives. This time, if we look and reflect, makes us see what we have overlooked, taken for granted and assumed. And on this Passion Sunday, when I will certainly miss you all, and the congregational reading of the Passion, let us pause and consider what the passion story can be for us during this time of world crisis.
Think of the temple as the symbolic center of our lives, as the place where we are met by the goodness and holiness of God, where we draw fresh the purpose of our lives, where we get clarity about who we are. The news of Passion Sunday is that only the temple called Jesus is our true habitat. Partly we are in the wrong place by will, partly by habit, partly by accident, partly seduced. Our work this Holy Week, and really throughout our Christian pilgrimage is to move from the fake temples to the true temple who is Jesus. And then to receive a different life, the life he lives, the one to which we are invited. One that can become our highest joy and deepest purpose.
May you and yours find a way to pray through this week of holy days. And if you are feeling the earth shaking and seeing the rocks splitting in the midst of this pandemic, remember that in suffering and death, Christ Jesus did not refuse our human nature, but walked with God into a plan called love to model a way forward for each of us.
In the bonds of Christ, Beverly+
O God, the source of our passion, who took upon you our unprotected flesh, kindly is us your anger and desire; that in suffering we may not by consumed, but hold fast to you through Jesus Christ, Amen. (All Desires Known, Janet Morley).
PASSION SUNDAY PATHWAYS
A STORY TO CAUSE US TO TREMBLE
The lessons for this Sunday speak for themselves. Psalm 31:9-16, Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 26:14-27:66
The Gospel of Matthew present Jesus’ death as the responsibility of those who ought to have know better. His death was real, for the opposition to him real. That opposition was based, as it always is, in the determination of vested interests to resist change that might undermine their position.
And here it is, on the Cross, the definitive symbol for Passion Sunday, that we know who God is. It is here on the Cross that we meet the God who loves us so much as to suffer our worst fears with us, for us, and from us – just to come close to us, to love us. Now we know that God is compassionate – is willing to suffer with us, not merely to observe us from afar.
On this Palm and Passion Sunday, we acutely feel the loss of our community singing, praying and receiving communion together. This grief is real and not likely to pass for weeks to come. But we have our faith in a God that meets our needs overcoming all barriers to reach us. Yet, think about how much the world is trembling over colossal losses and our responsibility to be help hold up the canopy to prevent the spread of COVID 19.
Dr. Karoline Lewis, one of my favorite Biblical scholars wrote this for Passion Sunday:
Because before it became salvation, before it became forgiveness of sins, before it became a sign of God’s sacrificial love and a symbol of a church, the cross was a crisis of unfathomable proportions. And the death of Jesus, in no uncertain terms, was an earthquake. “The earth shook, and the rocks were split.”
When the earth shook and the rocks split all that we assumed, all that we knew, all in which we had become complacent, basking in overfamiliarity, was twisted upside down. Overturned. At Golgotha, the ground literally shifted under our feet. Traditional rituals capsized. And the meaning of community, kingdom, and citizenship unmoored.
May we grow ever closer to the God that bids us to Calvary where we with trembling souls, find love and mercy in the Cross.