30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW Weekly Update #150 2nd April 2023 – Palm Sunday
From the Minister A Right Royal Send-Up
I see the French President called off the state visit that King Charles was due to make to France last week. There are continuing widespread strikes and protests there, including riots, against plans to raise the state pension age from sixty-two to sixty-four. It was felt that having a monarch in Paris at the same as major acts of citizen-inspired protest on its streets might not be a good look. The red carpet will have to wait a while before it is unrolled for the royal visitor. Likewise, all parades are off for the foreseeable future – no troops to be inspected after the king emerges from the aircraft or train; no trip up the Champs Elysees for a ceremony of remembrance and wreath laying at the Arc de Triomphe. We’re all acquainted with state ceremonial and its associated trappings, often military ones, whether on Red Square, Pennsylvania Avenue, or Pall Mall. Kings, emperors and governments in Jesus’s day also knew how to demonstrate their military power by parading into a town or city. Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem takes that sort of practice and stands it on its head. His red carpet is a DIY job of cloaks and branches from trees. Instead of a proud war horse, he comes humbly, riding a donkey. Instead of well-turned-out, well-drilled, well-armed troops, Jesus is preceded and followed by an unruly crowd of humble folk. Jesus (and God), it seems, is more interested in and identifies with the poorer ones. He has a different approach to power than those at the top of the political tree. The authorities might have thought he was parodying their practices in order to make a point, and they might have been right.
Lord Jesus Christ, just as you entered the city, enter our hearts and subdue them to yourself. As your disciples blessed your coming make us ready to lay at your feet all that we have and are, that we too may bless your coming. Amen.
Prayer adapted from the Church of Scotland Book of Common Order, 1996.
Worship Services – This Sunday and Week ahead to Easter
Sunday 2nd April – Palm Sunday
10.30 a.m. Palm Sunday service at church – led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison
6.30 p.m. Zoom communion service – led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison: “From Palms to The Cross” To join on Zoom, Click Here
Livestreamed Worship from Saint Columba’s
Each Sunday morning we livestream our services from Saint Columba’s. To watch the service live, catch up with it later in the week, or view previous services, click here.
Maundy Thursday Evening Service – 6th April
7.00 p.m. in the Lishman Hall – a reflective service, including communion, remembering the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples
Good Friday – 7th April
10.00 a.m. Churches Together Good Friday Walk of Witness, commencing in Northumberland Square
11.00 a.m. – 12.15 p.m. Good Friday
All-age activity and worship for Easter
Led by a team from Saint Columba’s
Crafts, fun and a hot cross bun!
Sunday 9th April – Easter Day
8.15 a.m. Early Easter Communion – in the Lishman Hall (Followed by breakfast at 8.30 a.m. – open to all, whether they have been at the 8.15 communion or not)
10.30 a.m. Easter Celebration Communion Service – Led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison.
6.30 p.m. Zoom communion service – led by the Revd Dr Trevor Jamison: “On the Road to Emmaus” To join on Zoom, Click Here
Bible readings for this week– Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 ‘Open to me the gates of righteousness …’
Matthew 21:1-11 Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey
Matthew 26:14-27:66 From the Last Supper to the Cross
Reflection on the Readings
Matthew 26:14-25 sets out the background to Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. A woman disciple has just made a financially costly gesture of devotion to Jesus. (26:6-13) Next thing in the Gospel, Judas has gone to the chief priests to see how much he can get for himself in return for betraying Jesus. Thirty pieces of silver is the going rate. (26:15) Judas thinks that his secret is safe, but Jesus seems to know what is going on: ‘one of you will betray me.’ (26:21) Judas may get the money but betraying Jesus will not be to his benefit – quite the contrary. (26:24) There’s a saying that ‘he who excuses himself, accuses himself.’ Judas’s appeal to Jesus, ‘surely not I, Rabbi?’ (26:25) seems to fall into that category, receiving only a sarcastic, ‘you have said so’ in response. Peter’s denial of Jesus when under pressure (26:69-75) may not be admirable but many of us will empathise with his spontaneous response in the face of fear. Judas’s premeditated, self-interested actions, however, are on a different level. Better to be Peter than Judas.
We are holding a leaflet drop in and around North Shields, advertising our Easter services. If you are willing to deliver some leaflets please pick up some leaflets after the service on Sunday.
Also, please feel free to pick up some copies if you wish to share them with families or friends.
Café 2.21 Fundraising Event – Tuesday 4th April
Café 2.21 will be holding a fundraising event on Tuesday 4th April. We will be serving tea/coffee, scones, cakes, hot cross buns from 10.00 a.m. Lunches will be served from 11.00 a.m., with special Easter Desserts. We will be holding a raffle. Prizes include a chocolate hamper, Easter eggs and lots more. All proceeds will go to the Special Baby Unit at RVI.
We will be having a short early communion service in the Lishman Hall at 8.15 a.m., followed by an Easter breakfast at 8.30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to come to the communion and breakfast, or simply to come for the breakfast itself.