Written by Rev. Cindy Bumb, Vice President of Spiritual Care

Holy Week is the last week of the Christian season of Lent. During Holy Week, we remember how Jesus ate a final meal with his disciples, and then was betrayed, arrested, and crucified.

The first day of Holy Week is known as Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday, we focus on Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem, surrounded by his disciples and many others, on what would be the last week of his life. Although we know that deep trouble lies ahead for Jesus, Palm Sunday celebrations usually are festive.

This year, we at Emmaus will read the Palm Sunday account from Mark 11: 1-11. It tells of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a borrowed colt. People took off their outer garments and spread them on the road before him. Others cut branches from the fields, laying them down on the road. All were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” the word Hosanna comes from Hebrew roots meaning “Save us!” the people expected a Messiah who would bring victory on their behalf, but the week would not turn out as they intended.

In years past on Palm Sunday at Emmaus, we’ve distributed palm branches to everyone. These palms represent the branches that people cut, spread, and waved on that very first Palm Sunday. We waved the palms as we sang; sometimes, we’ve acted out the Palm Sunday parade, waving them as we welcomed Jesus.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, however, we’ve not been able to gather together in person. So, instead of distributing real palms, Pastor Andrea and Pastor Cindy sent out a palm pattern over email that people could download, color, cut out, and then wave!

In 2020, Pastor Cindy and Pastor Andrea pre-recorded a Palm Sunday worship service, and sent it out over the Emmaus YouTube channel that day. In 2021, however, we’re going to try something new! We’ll be worshiping live over Zoom at 11 AM on March 28, Palm Sunday morning. That way, we can all wave our colored paper palms together as we sing! The service will also be recorded and sent out over You Tube, for any that weren’t able to participate in the live worship service. If the live Zoom Palm Sunday worship service works well, we’ll do the same for Easter worship on April 4!

Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

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