The Theme for Palm Sunday is “The Nature of God’s Love.” In the Old Testament lesson (Deuteronomy 32:36-39), love is seen as compassion. God has compassion on His people in their extremity. In the Epistle lesson (Philippians 2:5-11), love is shown in humble service. Christ humbled Himself and God exalted Him. In the Gospel lesson (Luke 23:1-49), love as sacrifice is seen as Christ goes to the cross and we observe the trials and death of Jesus. If the church observes Palm Sunday, the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-40) is read.
Collect for Palm Sunday – Almighty and everlasting God, You sent Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross. Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of His great humility and patience and be made partakers of His resurrection through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Monday, 14 March 2016—Psalm 24:7-10, Antiphon, Psalm 118:26 – Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless You from the house of the Lord. The one who with God’s help defeated the enemies “in the name of the Lord” from God’s very presence. The plural is used as a reference to God alone who deserves worship and praise. The crowd that gathered around Jesus when He rode into Jerusalem on His triumphal entry sang verses 25-26 of this famous psalm.
Tuesday, 15 March 2016—Psalm 118:19-29; key verse, verse 26 – Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. Again, these are the words used to praise Jesus when He came in triumph. At the end of that day and by the end of the week, He would be rejected. The people simply wanted a different kind of King. What sort of king are you seeking? Does Jesus fit the profile? If not, for what sort of king should you seek?
Wednesday, 16 March 2016—Deuteronomy 32:36-39 – God has compassion on His people in their extremity. God’s opportunity is Man’s extremity. Consider the condition of man. He is powerless – “Their power is gone.” He is nothing – “There is none remaining.” Then there is God’s opportunity – Vindication – “The Lord will vindicate His people.” and compassion – “Compassion on His servants.”
Thursday, 17 March 2016—Philippians 2:5-11 – Paul seems to be going in two opposite directions: Christ’s going down in humility and going up in exaltation. The key is that no one can go up unless he first goes down. Holy Week is the period of Christ’s going down, even to the depth of death. Because of this, we can anticipate His rising from the dead at the right hand of the Father. Paul urges his people to have this same mind of humility that God may exalt them.
Friday, 18 March 2016 – Luke 19:28-40 – Jesus sent two disciples to bring Him a colt upon which He could ride into Jerusalem. This is probably the humblest animal available. To this day we use “ass” or “Jackass” to heap scorn on people. You may consider yourself an ass and thus feel unworthy of being a servant of Christ.
Even if you are an ass, Christ can use you. During the Medieval period, a young man with not too many brains was examined for the priesthood. His examiner was in despair and told him that he was so stupid that he was only half an ass. The candidate replied that if Samson could kill thousands with the jawbone of an ass, maybe God could do wonders with a whole ass. Though you may consider yourself of little value ponder these realities. You are needed (verse 31) and you can carry Jesus to others (verse 35).
Saturday, 19 March 2016—John 12:12-15; Psalm 118:26; Psalm 24:7-9 - Sunday’s hymn of the day is All Glory, Laud, and Honor (442 LSB). Today is the day in which we worship Jesus as He rode into the streets of Jerusalem as Lord and King. In many churches the youth are confirmed. If not, it is a wonderful opportunity to reaffirm your confirmation vows. Some of the most moving and dramatic readings and reflections happen on Palm Sunday; it is both a happy and somber mood. Christ is hailed and at the same time rejected. He offers Himself only to be refused. If Jesus were to come to your fair city, what sort of reception might He receive?
Collect for Lent 5 – Almighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your people that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen
A prayer before worship – O Lord, our Creator, Redeemer, and Comforter, as we come to worship You in spirit and in truth, we humbly pray that You may open our hearts to the preaching of Your Word, so that we may repent of our sins, believe in Jesus Christ as our only Savior, and grow in grace and holiness. Hear us for His same.
A prayer for help in times of temptation – Almighty and everlasting God, through Your Son You have promised us forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. Govern our hearts by Your Holy Spirit that in our daily need and especially in all time of temptation, we may seek Your help and, by a true and lively faith in Your Word, obtain all that You have promised; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A prayer for reconciliation – God of love, through Your Son You have commanded us to love one another. By the guidance of Your Word and Spirit, deliver us from impenitence and teach us the truth that we might conf3ess our sins, receive Your forgiveness and be reconciled to one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A prayer for Grace to receive the Word – Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark,, learn and inwardly digest them that, by patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C – John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing,