God lives a pretty sheltered life

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Palm/Passion Sunday   10:00 am April 10, 2022
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering
as a Worshipping Community
Led by Nick Nation   Music director: Binu Kapadia
Vocalist: Linda Farrah-Basford
Elder: Sam Malayang
*indicates that those who are able may stand

We gather to worship God

Song: Palm Sunday Peace (Congregation stands and children distribute palm branches to those in the Sanctuary)

Song: Hosanna   (216)

L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you
P: and also with you

Lighting of the Christ candle

Welcome and Announcements

We have been giving faithfully since the beginning of the pandemic and we are committed to continuing the ministry and mission that define Dayspring – using the various ways described on the screen and in Dayspring Weekly News. Thank you all for your support of our shared vision and mission. For those in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelopes with you, simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service  today.

Silent preparation for worship

Opening words
L: Today we begin with joy, celebrating life. Then we move through Holy Week to the pain and agonizing death of Good Friday.
All: Come, let us join together on this deeply emotional journey.

Song: Lord, the light of your love  (376)

Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:1-11 NRSV

Special music: In Christ alone

Children’s story: The caterpillar’s hibernation seems like a death

Prayer of approach

Dramatized reading of the story: God Leads a Very Sheltered Life[i]

Narrator:  Fionna McCrostie
Speaker #1 – Rom Rhoad
Speaker #3 – Sarah Groot
Voice (children) – Clare Johnson and Leah Patterson-Fortin

Introductory comments
Friends – we are in Holy Week.  We have just celebrated the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  We now turn to the time between the joy of Palm Sunday and the glory of Easter… the time of the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus.  These are circumstances to which we must pay solemn attention.  We will hear a story directed by a Narrator and for Speakers who struggle with the human condition and they make their complaints against God.  What is God’s answer to their judgments? We will look back to Christmas to realize that the hope and promise of Christmas is fulfilled in the pain of Good Friday and the joy of  Easter.

Part 1

Narrator:  Let me tell you a story! Imagine with me… Billions of people … scattered on a great plain before God’s throne. You are there – listening…. In fact, are you one of these people?  Some of the groups near the front talk heatedly—not with cringing shame, but with belligerence and anger, directed at GOD.

Speaker 1:  How can God judge us?

An old woman yelled out – “What does GOD know about suffering?

She jerked back a sleeve to reveal a tattooed number from a Nazi concentration camp. “We endured terror, beatings, torture, death!”

Speaker 2: “What about this?” demanded, a black man lowering his shirt collar to show an ugly rope burn. “Lynched for no crime but being black! My people have been wrenched from loved ones, have suffocated in slave ships, and have been worked like animals till death gave release.”

Speaker 3: “My innocent little girl” screamed a young mother, in pain and terror “Our home was bombed, my little girl wandered lost and injured.  She died – alone – of dehydration and hunger.”

Narrator: Far out across the plain were hundreds of such groups. Each had a complaint against God for the evil and suffering God permitted in the world. How lucky God was to live in Heaven where there was no weeping, no fear, no hunger, no hatred!  Indeed, what did God know about what people had been forced to endure in this world?

“After all, God leads a pretty sheltered life,” they said.

Speakers #1 repeats: “Yes!  God leads a pretty sheltered life!”

Narrator:  So each group sent out a spokesperson, chosen because he or she had suffered the most. There was a Jew, a black, an untouchable from India, an illegitimate, a radiation casualty from the Hiroshima bombing, a prisoner from a Siberian gulag, an innocent child murdered … and on it went.

Musical interlude…

Part 2:

Narrator: In the center of the plain the chosen spokespersons consulted with each other. At last they were ready to present their case. It was rather simple: Before God would be qualified to be their judge, GOD must endure what they had endured. Their decision was that God should be sentenced to live on Earth as a man. But because GOD was God, they set certain safeguards to be sure GOD could not use divine powers to help:

Speaker 1: Let GOD be born a Jew and the legitimacy of GOD’s birth be doubted, so that none will know who His Father is.

Speaker 2: Let GOD champion a cause so just but so radical that it will bring down upon himself hate and condemnation and cause the leaders of every major religion to seek to eliminate Him from the earth.

Speaker 3:  Let God live with violence and the murder of children that requires an escape to a foreign land, with an uncertain future to come.

Speaker 2 (repeat) –Yes!  God leads a pretty sheltered life!

Speaker 1 Let GOD try to describe to people what it means to have fulfilling love and to have lasting hope.

Speaker 2: Let GOD be betrayed by dearest friends, left alone.

Speaker 3:  Let GOD become a refugee, struggling for survival.

Speaker 3 (repeat): “Yes! God leads a pretty sheltered life!”

Speaker 1:  Let GOD be indicted on false charges, tried before a prejudiced jury, and convicted by a cowardly judge

Speaker 2: Let GOD be tortured, and die the most humiliating death, with common criminals, feeling abandoned by his friends.

Speaker 4:  Let GOD be forced from his comfortable home and wander – homeless, alone – not knowing who will take him in.

Narrator:  As each leader announced his portion of the sentence, loud murmurs of approval went up from the great throngs of people assembled before God’s throne.

(PAUSE – 5 seconds…)

And then, into this chaos a Voice was heard …

VOICE (speaking from another place)

  • Clare – Who is God?
  • Leah – Have you ever seen GOD?

PAUSE – 5 seconds

VIDEO: Mary did you Know?  (used with permission)

Scripture: Luke 23: 33-47                   NRSV

Part 3

Narrator:  No one uttered another word. No one on the great plain moved. For suddenly all the people knew … GOD was serving his sentence.

Scripture: Luke 23: 33-47                 NRSV

Special music:  Amazing grace

Silent reflection

Lights in the Sanctuary are slowly dimmed and turned out.
The Christ candle is extinguished.
A wooden cross is placed in the centre of the communion table.
The on-ZOOM worshippers accept Breakout Room assignment or leave ZOOM
The in-sanctuary worshippers, leave the sanctuary in silence.

Thanks to all contributing in worship: Vivian Houg, Sarah Groot, Fionna McCrostie, Rom Rhoad, child’s voice.

Song Sheet and Credits

 Palm Sunday peace

Take the branches from the palm trees, lay them on the ground. This will be a sign of peace, the whole wide world around. Cause Jesus isn’t riding a chariot, and he isn’t driving a tank. He isn’t bringing soldiers marching rank on rank on rank. He’s riding on a donkey, up to the city gate. Let Hosannas ring as the children sing, for peace that just can’t wait. Hosanna! Peace! Hosanna! Hosanna! Peace! we call! Lay the branches down as Hosannas sound. Praise and Peace to all!

Hosanna! Peace! Hosanna! Hosanna! Peace! We call! Lay the branches down as Hosanna’s sound. Praise and Peace to all!

 Words and music: Ian MacDonald © 1986 Common Cup Company. One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE


Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest. Lord we lift your name with hearts full of praise; be exalted, O Lord my God! Hosanna in the highest.

Glory, glory, glory to the King of kings! Lord we lift your name with hearts full of praise; be exalted, O Lord my God! Glory to the King of kings!

Words: and music: Carl Tuttle © Mercy/Vineyard, 1985. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Lord, the light of your love is shining

Lord, the light of your love is shining in the midst of the darkness, shining; Jesus, light of the world, shine upon us. Set us free by the truth you now bring us. Shine on me, shine on me

 Refrain: Shine, Jesus, shine fill this land with the Father’s glory; blaze, Spirit, blaze set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow flood the nations with grace and mercy; send forth your word, Lord, and let there be light!

Lord, I come to your awesome presence, from the shadows into your radiance; by your blood I may enter your brightness, search me, try me, consume all my darkness, Shine on me, shine on me.                                                       Refrain

As we gaze on your kingly brightness, so our faces display your likeness, ever changing from glory to glory; mirrored here may our lives tell your story. Shine on me, shine on me.     Refrain

 Words and Music: Graham Kendrick © 1987 Make Way Music. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE


Dramatic Reading Source: God Leads a Pretty Sheltered Life | House to House Heart to Heart (2018). https://housetohouse.com/god-leads-a-pretty-sheltered-life/  This story idea has been adjusted by Darlene Eerkes into a variety of voices to be presented as a dramatic reading.  Some sentences are changed and there are added scenarios to fit our context today (Ukraine/Russia).

Video: Mary did you know. Dayspring purchased the right to show this.

Posted in Recent Sermons.