Palm Sunday: It’s Sunday…but Friday’s comin’

Lord, we bring a prayer of thanks to You for the path that Jesus took on our behalf. It was a risky path, thank You. It was an extremely courageous path in the face of adversity, we can’t thank You enough. We are grateful for all the good that You brought to us during the time of lent, as well as during Holy Week and Easter. There is little we are able to do to reciprocate the magnitude of your love for the world. We can only bring to You our prayers of thanks.

Worship on the Lord’s Day

Palm Sunday

We gather to worship God

Music prelude


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

Lighting of the Christ candle

Welcome and announcements

Silent preparation for worship

Opening words:

L: I lift up my eyes to the hills –
from where will my help come?
P: My help comes from the Lord,   
    who made heaven and earth.
L: Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!

Opening praise: I lift my eyes up

I lift my eyes up to the mountains.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from You, Maker of heaven
Creator of the earth.

Oh, how I need You, Lord You are my only hope.
You’re my only prayer. So I will wait for You
to come and rescue me. come and give me life.

written and performed by Brian Doerksen
©1990 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music, David C Cook) Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Call to worship:

L: This is the day that the Lord has made.
P: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
L: Jesus is coming.
P: Hosanna!
L: He comes to us riding on a donkey.
P: Hosanna!
L: Open wide the gates!
P: Hosanna!
L: Let us welcome him with branches
and songs of praise.
P: Jesus is coming.
    Hosanna to the King of kings!

Prayers of approach and confession:

God of all people and all places,
God of all situations and all times,
you are the light of the minds that know you,
and the strength of those who serve you in times of challenge and times of joy.
We come to worship you this day,
setting aside our work and responsibilities,
our relaxation and pastimes,
to listen for your voice
and reflect on the wisdom and courage we witness in Jesus.
As tension mounts for him and for us,
we turn to you for hope and healing, for courage and compassion,
in the name of Christ, our Lord.

Hear us now as we speak to you the truth about our lives:
God of compassion, we confess that we prefer darkness to your light, and our ways to yours. We do what is easy rather than what is right.
We have been dishonest with ourselves and each other.
Forgive our fleeting enthusiasms and shallow commitments.
As we witness again the story of Jesus confronting his enemies,
strengthen our desire to follow him and serve you with courage like his.

Now we turn for a few moments of silence to pray our personal prayers of confession to You…

Response: Glory glory halleluiah

Assurance of God’s forgiveness:

John, the Gospel writer records Jesus’ words: I do not call you servants any longer, but I have called you friends. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Dear friends, Christ has laid down his life for us and invites us to love one another as he has loved us. Rejoice in his redeeming love and share it with each other day by day.

Response: Be still and know

Prayers for God’s help and guidance:

Dear Lord, each one of us here today has their own needs or challenges, either for themselves personally, for a family member, for a friend or colleague— will You accompany them now as they communicate that need or challenge to you in these moments of silence…

Lord of truth and wisdom, Jesus, your Living Word, confronted those who stood against him with your truth. Send us your Holy Spirit to hear your truth again in his story. Inspire us with his courage and conviction that we may love you more fully and serve you with wisdom and truth. Amen.

We listen for the voice of God

Now we are going to celebrate Palm Sunday with a slide show that Fionna has put together

Palm leaf slideshow     Congregation and Kids

Children’s time 

(Jesus loves me; Lord’s Prayer)

Solo:            A song of joy

Scripture readings:

Psalm 118:1–2, 19–29 — Old Testament, responsive (Contemporary English Version)

L: Tell the LORD how thankful you are,
P: because the LORD is kind and always merciful.
L: Let the people Israel shout, “God is always merciful!”
P: We who are followers of Jesus shout, God is always merciful!”
L: Open the gates of justice!
P: We will enter and tell the LORD how thankful we are.
L: Here is the gate of the LORD!
P: Everyone who is made right with the LORD may enter this gate.
L: We praise the LORD for answering our prayers and saving us.
P: The stone that the builders tossed aside has now become the most important stone.
L: The LORD has done this,
P: and it is amazing to us.
L: This day belongs to the LORD!
P: Lets celebrate and be glad today.
L: We’ll ask the LORD to save us!
P: Well sincerely ask the LORD to let us overcome that which separates us from life as life is intended to be lived.
L: God bless the One who comes in the name of the LORD!
P: We praise you, LORD, from here in your house of worship.
L: The LORD is our God and has given us light!
P: Start the celebration!
L: March with palm branches all around the sanctuary.
P: The LORD is God! We will praise the LORD and tell the LORD how thankful we are.
L: Tell the LORD how thankful you are,
P: The LORD is kind and always merciful.

John 12:12–16 — New Testament (New Revised Standard Version)

JesusTriumphal Entry into Jerusalem

12 The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—
the King of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
“Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.

Response: His truth is marching on          

Message: “It’s Sunday…but Friday’s comin”

Timothy W. Ayers refers to Tony Campolo, who, in a sermon of his, titled “It’s Friday…But Sunday’s comin’” [i] told about a more senior black minister who had the whole congregation at his lips.

The sermon starts off as follows.

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where he was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord and they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody an d dying. But Sunday’s coming.

You have heard the Palm Sunday story before. Perhaps you too were seeing how this is the exact opposite of the story of Good Friday. Because this is Sunday, Palm Sunday, and Good Friday’s coming.

All the people were waving palms, throwing their cloaks, coats, wraps, and Under Armour sweaters on the pathway before Christ. It looked like someone had emptied the Salvation Army shed into the streets. People were cheering, “Hosanna, hosanna. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

The crowds ran to the palm trees and cut leaves from them and laid them before Jesus as He approached humbly on a colt of a donkey, instead of valiantly on a warhorse. “Yay, Jesus. You’re the Messiah. Yay, Jesus. We saw you raise the dead. Yay, Jesus. Hosanna. Hosanna!”

But that was Sunday and Friday’s coming.

On Friday that same group of people would stand and scream, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! That same group of people that yelled “Hosanna!” would five days later scream out for his blood. They would shout out that He be nailed to a cross. Does that shock you? If you were a disciple like Peter, James, or John or the other nine wouldn’t you be shocked, certainly dismayed, and discouraged?

They shouldn’t have been and neither should we because Jesus warned them and Mark recorded it in chapter 4 of his gospel. Jesus knew it was coming. Jesus was teaching his disciples through parables, which are word pictures designed to teach a point. Mark wrote in 4:3-9:

Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

Jesus warned them that this is the way it would be. He told them who He was. He revealed He was the Messiah, the Christ. He cast out the seed that the Messiah had come. He did miracles to prove it. But some people were like the hard ground in the pathway of a garden. These people were so hard, and so bitter to the truth that it would bounce off of them. The seed would lay on the surface waiting for the Evil one to sweep in and do everything he could to steal it away before it germinated, took root and grew. In the crowd that formed around Jesus’ triumphant entry there were Jewish religious leaders, Pharisees, who looked at what was going on, then worked their way up to Jesus and said “Teacher, get your disciples under control!” These men hated Him and they knew that if Jesus continued to live He would bring the powers of Rome down on their heads and with that their comfortable lifestyle, power, and prestige would be gone.

I can imagine the Pharisees standing and watching. They knew they had to do something or Jesus would bring destruction on their way of life. You can almost hear Satan whispering in their ears with his poisonous voice, “It’s Sunday…but Friday’s coming.”

There was another group who stood screaming, “Hosanna, Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday. These were the ones that had watched and listened to Jesus. Some were even there when Jesus called Lazarus from the grave. They watched as the stone was rolled away and the dead man came forth from his grave clothes. They may have seen Him make dinner for everyone out five loaves and three fish. They were shouting fervently, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

These people though were like the seeds that fell among the rocks. They sprouted quickly. They saw a miracle here and miracle there and believed this was what the ministry of Jesus was all about. They jumped on the bandwagon quickly but once the heat of the hot sun, the pressure of the Pharisees, came upon them then they withered. The religious leaders pressed hard upon their congregations. They lobbied, cajoled, and threatened those they were in a position to pastor. Yes, on Sunday these folks screamed for Jesus the king and then on Friday they screamed for him to be crucified. Yes, I can almost hear the Pharisees saying to their congregations “It’s Sunday…But Friday’s coming.” Yes, on Friday you will not scream out Hosanna. On Friday you will not throw your coats at his feet. On Friday you will scream “crucify him” and they will rip his coat from his bloodied back and cast lots to see who gets it. It’s Sunday now, Jesus’ followers, but on Friday you will do our bidding. It’s Sunday but Friday’s coming.

There was a third group mixed into the crowd. They ran to the streets stripping off their coats, grabbing palms, and throwing them at Jesus’ feet but they were like the seeds that fell among the thorns. The thorns or pressures of life grew up and choked them out. On Sunday they yelled, “Hosanna, hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” But that was Sunday.

This was the way, dear friends, Jesus was treated. Where would you be standing in this crowd that Sunday? Jesus had huge courage. He risked all that was in Him for our sake. His risk was calculated, as He knew what was coming. But still, Jesus was fully human and wrestling with the same fears we would have been wrestling, if we were in his predicament. It doesn’t matter where we would be standing, or the way we are reacting. Jesus’ actions that week were for each of us, opening up the road between us and God. Amen

Song: My song is love unknown         220

My song is love unknown, my Saviour’s love to me, love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be. Oh who am I that for my sake
my Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne salvation to bestow, but we made strange, and none the longed for Christ would know. But oh, my Friend, my Friend indeed, who at my need his life did spend.

Sometimes they strew his way and his sweet praises sing, resounding all the day hosannas to their King; then “Crucify” is all their breath,
and for his death they thirst and cry.

Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine;
never was love, dear King, never was grief like thine. This is my friend in whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

Words: Samuel Crossman; public domain
Music: John Ireland © The John Ireland Trust
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude:

Lord, we bring a prayer of thanks to You for the path that Jesus took on our behalf. It was a risky path, thank You. It was an extremely courageous path in the face of adversity, we can’t thank You enough. We are grateful for all the good that You brought to us during the time of lent, as well as during Holy Week and Easter. There is little we are able to do to reciprocate the magnitude of your love for the world. We can only bring to You our prayers of thanks.

Response: Now thank we all our God

Reflection on giving:

We have been giving faithfully using the various ways described on the slide and in Dayspring Weekly News. What a wonder it is to continue the precious ministry and mission that define Dayspring. Thank you for your contribution, which we know comes freely from hearts full of gratitude.

Song: Hosanna, loud hosanna            218 

Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang;
through pillared court and temple the joyful anthem rang. To Jesus, who had held them close folded to his breast, the children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.

From Olivet they followed amid the shouting crowd, the victor palm branch waving and chanting clear and loud; Messiah, God’s anointed, rode there in humble state, ‘Hosanna, in the highest!’ rang out their praises great.

‘Hosanna in the highest!’ that ancient song we sing, for Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King. Oh may we ever praise him with heart and life and voice, and in God’s joyful presence eternally rejoice!

Words: Jennette Threlfall © The Presbyterian Church in Canada 1996 Music: Mainz Song Book, 1833; public domain
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Sending out with God’s blessing:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26)

Response: The Lord bless you

[i] Ayers, T.W. (2021, March 27). It’s Sunday…but Friday’s comin’.

10:00 am March 28, 2021

led by Rev. Heinrich Grosskopf

Elder: Laura Patterson-Fortin

children’s time: Rev. Theresia Ndofor

vocalist: Linda Farrah-Basford

Copyright 2021 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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Posted in Recent Sermons.