Week Six – Palm Sunday
written by Anne Browse
Palm trees in Piraeus
I expect that many of you using these Lent reflections are also familiar with Prayer for the Week on the Methodist Women in Britain website. Hazel, who writes those prayers for us, once shared with me how she finds it best to start with an image in front of her, rather than later trying to find an image to illustrate a prayer.
Faced with the challenge of writing this Lent reflection, I decided to begin by scrolling through my photos in search of an image which might represent Palm Sunday. I found this picture which I took in Greece in May 2016. I was there as part of a delegation of women from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, to meet with and hear the stories of women refugees. In Piraeus I took this photograph of washing strewn to dry on the palm bushes along the pavements at the Greek port.
As I reflect on this image now I cannot help but think of the cloaks strewn along the road on that first Palm Sunday, as Jesus, the Messiah, entered Jerusalem, not on a war horse but on a donkey. The story is recorded in all four of the gospels. The account in Luke’s gospel notes that Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem and the lack of peace in the place and the people. Read: Luke 19: 28-44
Surely Jesus weeps today as he sees refugees across the world, their clothes strewn on makeshift washing lines, bushes and barbed wire fences to dry.
Consider what other situations in our world, our church, our country, our community and our lives might cause Jesus to weep?
Give thanks for a God who in Christ made himself nothing, took the nature of a servant and became obedient to death on a cross (Philippians 2: 7-8).
Pray for those who seek to bring peace, relief and hope to those whose lives are devastated by war, famine and disaster. Pray that they may be given the strength of Christ and the power of the Spirit to shine as lights in dark places.
Hymn: Singing the Faith 277 My song is love unknown
Bible link: Philippians 2: 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…
These Lent reflections are written to link with the 2017 Easter Offering Dedication service, ‘Shine like Stars’ which will be used by most circuits of the Methodist Church in Britain during the weeks following Easter. Orders of service and other resources can be found at www.mwib.org.uk