Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.


It is not tolerable, it is not possible, that from so much death, so much sacrifice and ruin, so much heroism, a greater and better humanity shall not emerge.

~Charles de Gaulle


The movement of this day—from shouts of praise to words of denial and cries for crucifixion—mirrors the path of discipleship. The lives of Jesus’ followers hang in the balance between faithfulness and betrayal. For Peter, the act of denial is subtle and insidious. He claims not to know Jesus; he claims to have no place as his disciple. On the surface it is seemingly harmless. It happens, and then is over in a moment. In reality, the harm is deep and lasting. Subtle but harmful denial happens in a split second as disciples compromise faith for the sake of self-protection—as they’re too embarrassed to give thanks; as someone knows how to help but fails to do so because it’s inconvenient; as resources are hoarded. While Peter withholds everything for his own sake, Jesus, for the sake of others, withholds nothing. As disciples fail to claim their place with Jesus, Jesus’ embrace claims them. From the cross, Jesus offers mercy wide enough to claim even those who do not know what they do.


We respectfully acknowledge that the Province of Manitoba includes the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Lyiniwok, the Cree, Oji-Cree, Dene and Dakota Peoples and homeland of the Metis People.

As First Peoples have done since time immemorial, we strive to be responsible stewards of the land, and to respect the cultures, ceremonies, and traditions of all who call this land home. As we open our hearts and minds to the past, we commit ourselves to working in a spirit of truth and reconciliation to make a better future for all.

Processional Gospel: Luke 19:28-40

28After he had said this,  went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38saying,
“Blessed is the king

who comes in the name of the Lord!

Peace in heaven,

and glory in the highest heaven!”

39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”


Humble and riding on a donkey,
we greet you;
Acclaimed by crowds and caroled by children,
we cheer you;
moving from the peace of the countryside to the corridors of power,
We salute you: Christ our Lord.

You are giving the beast of burden
a new dignity;
you are giving majesty
a new face;
you are giving those who long for redemption
A new song to sing.
With them, with heart and voice, we shout:
Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

—from Common Order, Panel on Worship, Church of Scotland, 1994


CHILDREN’S SONG:   VU 124   He Came Riding On A Donkey


Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


We are not alone; we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:  who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:  to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.  We are not alone.  Thanks be to God.


I have a friend who has a very nice dog.  The dog is well mannered, loves to play, be petted, loves to cuddle.  In every way this dog is the perfect pet, except when she is eating.  Once my friend puts the food in the dog’s dish, she walks away and does not go back to the dish until her dog has cleaned out the bowl.  Otherwise, her dog will suddenly turn and try to bite her for trying to touch her food.  I don’t know that I would want a dog like that.  Too unpredictable.  I wouldn’t want to lose my hand!

The crowds that are praising Jesus as he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey are like my friend’s dog.  One minute they are praising Jesus, calling him their king, singing songs and wanting to touch him.  Then, within days, they are putting him down, calling him names and demanding of Pilate to “Crucify him!”  Friends like that, who needs enemies?

Before you think, “Oh, I’m not like that!  I would never do that to Jesus!”, it is wise to look at how we treat our parents, siblings, friends and strangers.  Any time we have said hurtful things, broken a promise, ignored someone we love, we are doing the same thing to Jesus.  It’s like waving your hands in the air shouting, “Yay!  Hallelujah!” and then suddenly pointing your finger and saying, “Get him!”.  Not good.

One of the ways that helps us to stay honest with who we are and how we treat others is to ask a trusted friend or our parents, “Do I behave like that?”  Their answer just may be, “Yes.”  That’s doesn’t mean you should be down on yourself.  It does mean to pay closer attention to the words you use and how you say them.  Learning about yourself and changing behaviour that isn’t helpful is a very good thing!  It means that we are listening more closely to Jesus and how he would like us to live and treat others.  When we do that, life becomes more beautiful and our love stronger.




Acts of Compassion Give Rise To Peace

There is one thing that will never fail us: compassion.

Acts of compassion both big and small give rise to peace. We can’t wave a magic wand and bring about world peace, but with every act of compassion we harness the power of love, the same love Jesus lived and died for and that he promised would move mountains.

Over two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep the globe, life has become harder for millions of families.

  • 148,000,000 more people are having trouble putting food on the table than in 2019.
  • Last year more than 80,000,000 people around the world were forced to flee their homes because of rising violence and conflict; half of them were children.
  • In the last two years, visits to Canadian food banks have climbed 20 percent, with the cost of food predicted to rise 5‒7 percent this year.

When people don’t have what they need to survive, conflict is inevitable.  That’s why your generosity matters so much.

The food security initiatives, refugee support work, educational programs, as well as emergency and advocacy efforts your gifts through Mission & Service support aren’t just about food, safety, education, and human rights. They are ultimately about peace. And in a world where division tears the fabric that binds us together, that’s everything.

Jesus put compassion into action every day he lived. He brought hope into every room he walked into. He was literally the calm in the storm. He stretched out his arms in the ultimate sacrifice of love, and the world was never the same. The Easter story is a testament to our ability to make a powerful, positive difference.

Every act of compassion gives rise to peace. Thank you for your generosity through Mission & Service. Your gifts truly do help move mountains.


Merciful God, as we enter Holy week, turn our hearts again to Jerusalem, and to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Stir up within us the gift of faith that we may not only praise him with our lips, but may follow him in the way of the cross.  Amen.

—written by John Paarlberg, retired minister of Word and sacrament

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

This text, the third of the four Servant Songs in Isaiah, speaks of the servant’s obedience amid persecution. Though the servant has been variously understood as the prophet himself or a remnant of faithful Israel, Christians have often recognized the figure of Christ in these poems.

4The Lord God has given me
the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.
5The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward.
6I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.

7The Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
9aIt is the Lord God who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?

Psalm 31:9-16

R:  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. (Ps. 31:5)

9Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing;
my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11I am the scorn of all my enemies, a disgrace to my neighbors, a dismay to my acquaintances;
when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12Like the dead I am forgotten, out of mind;
I am as useless as a broken pot. R
13For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around;
they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.
I have said, “You are my God.
15My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.” R

Second Reading: Philippians 2:5-11

Paul quotes from an early Christian hymn that describes Jesus’ humble obedience in his incarnation as a human being, even to death, and his exaltation and glory as Lord of all.

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

9Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel: Luke 23:1-49

Through the teachings and events of the passion story we see and hear the great contradictions that characterize the coming of God’s reign. The leader serves the followers, proud Peter is revealed in his cowardice, and Jesus—the innocent bringer of life—is arrested, beaten, executed, and buried.

1Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. 2They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.” 3Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” 4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.” 5But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.”

6When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. 12That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

13Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

18Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” 19(This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; 21but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” 23But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

26As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

44It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. 47When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. 49But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.


HYMN OF THE DAY: VU 238   How Great Thou Art


It was a simple request – or so I thought.  How wrong I was!

Our eldest, Dara, was in kindergarten and it was her turn for “Show and Tell”.  I asked Dara what some of the other children in her class had brought.  She went through the usual list of items.  She didn’t want to repeat them.  So, I thought about what she could bring that was unique.  I had an idea.

Dara had recently had some health issues.  An x-ray had been taken of her abdomen.  I thought, “I wonder if we could borrow the x-ray for show and tell and then return it to the hospital?”  I wouldn’t know until I tried.

I explained my request to the desk nurse.  She looked at me as if I was from another planet.  She left and returned with her superior.  I repeated my request.  The superior went to check with the ethics committee.

By this time, my stubborn streak had been activated.  The superior returned and said that since the x-ray was the property of the hospital, I was not allowed to borrow it.  I asked if I could get a copy of the x-ray.  I was told I would have to pay for it, and then return it to the hospital.  I said that was no problem, thanked the nurse and headed home with my copy of Dara’s x-ray, and the conviction that I had just sealed my reputation as an alien at best, a deranged mom at worst.  Oh, and the entire class and teacher were totally impressed with the x-ray!  Go me!

Jesus ride into Jerusalem was the culmination of approximately three years of ministry.  Jesus’ ministry involved healing, teaching others about unconditional love, forgiveness, generosity and living peaceably – especially living peaceably.  Since Jesus lived this out on a daily basis, I can’t help but wonder if he thought he was making a simple request.  How hard was it to promote peace, to live respectfully with others, attending to the needs of others so that everyone had enough and conflict was a non-issue?

Ok, Jesus, it’s not so simple a request!

As Jesus rides into Jerusalem on the donkey, the crowds refer to Jesus as “king”.  Up until this point, Jesus has avoided the title.  So why does he not object now, since the crowd is growing in size and volume?

Jesus could not accept the association with Kingship and rule until he had opportunity to correct the popular experience and understanding of what that meant. The current examples of kingship and rule were far from Jesus’ concept. The two Herods in his lifetime, Quirinius, Procurator Pilate and of course the Caesars of Rome, modelled their leadership on power, control and brutal consequences for those who dissented.

Jesus did not want to be associated with such an obsession for power and brutality, and so he avoided being proclaimed king until he had time to reorient his disciples’ understanding of what a king was.

In three and a half years he modelled what kings were intended to do for their people:

He healed the broken and restored them to full participation in community

He forgave those who missed the mark of required ethical and religious standards and included them in his new community.

He raised the dead so as to offer social security to those women who would be destitute by the deaths of the men (Lazarus, Widow of Nain)

He raised and healed children to break the bondage of bad theology that blamed bad things on parental conditions and culture (Children of Jairus and the Canaanite woman)

He was inclusive, unconditionally accepting, and restorative in his words and actions.

This is who kings and rulers were meant to be and now it was time for Jesus to own the ideal and to associate with the kingship that the prophets were trying to bring to the palaces of Palestine.

In Luke, the entrance of Jesus causes a division among the crowd which is not found in the other gospels.  Related to this emphasis, the disciples in Luke do not shout “hosanna” — an Aramaic phrase meaning, “Save us, I pray.” What is anticipated at the coming of the king is “peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”

“Peace” is emphasized in Luke.  This theme begins at the end of Zechariah’s song: “to guide our feet into the way of peace.  It continues with the angels song: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!”.  It shows up in Simeon’s song: “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word.”

An emphasis for Luke is that salvation consists partly in living at peace with God and with each other — Jews and Gentiles, male and female, rich and poor, slaves and free.  At the same time, Luke is aware that Jesus’ peace causes divisions.  When Jesus enters Jerusalem, his disciples pray for peace in heaven, but his visitation causes a division.

What is the cost of peace?  It is a releasing of power over the other.  It is a deliberate living out of generosity, a turning away from greed.  It means a heart motivated by love, not the love of money, power and possessions.  The cost of peace is to place implicit trust in God to provide and guide.  It is to be fearless in the face of the unknown and ambiguities of life.

We currently are experiencing the brutal realities of one person who will not embrace peace on any terms.  Is it any wonder that Jesus wept for the people?

The suffering and death that Jesus was set to experience was the opposite of what the crowd hoped for him, and it may be the opposite of what we think we want in a messiah too. But the hope offered by Jesus in his suffering and death, while different than what we might expect, never disappoints. God’s promise embodies life that is stronger than the shadow of death. Even amid fear and betrayal and torture, God will bring about healing. Even amid the finality of death, God will bring resurrection and new life.  Even in the midst of destruction, there can be peace.

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

HOM:  MV 139   True Faith Needs No Defence


SENDING SONG:  VU 127   Ride On!  Ride On In Majesty!


You are children of God, anointed with the oil of gladness and strengthened for the journey.  Almighty God, motherly, majestic, and mighty, ☩ bless you this day and always.  Amen.





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