Palm Sunday 2020
Dear St. Matthias Sunday School Children,
I miss seeing your faces each Sunday! I hope you are doing well and adjusting to a new way of life. The past few weeks have been full of many changes for you, especially as you work on setting new routines and for some transitioning to online learning. Some of you may be missing your friends and loved ones you are used to seeing regularly. I hope you can connect through the use of technology, and if not, maybe you could write a letter and send it through the mail.
I want to talk to you about Palm Sunday and Holy Week. Palm Sunday is when we celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The teachings of Jesus have reached more people, and the number of people following him has grown. There is great excitement in the air as Jesus rides into the city. People are loudly cheering and feel a sense of joy, relief, and hope. They have heard the good news Jesus brings for all people! Can you imagine this? Close your eyes for a moment and try. Picture Jesus riding down the path and the people waving palm fronds and shouting, "Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!"
It is important to remember that not everyone was celebrating the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem. The people in power felt threatened by Jesus' message about God's kingdom and also by the number of followers he had. Jesus knew difficult times were ahead, and for his followers, it was a confusing and challenging time.
During Holy Week, we remember the last days of Jesus' life. During this time, Jesus was doing his best to prepare the disciples for what was to come. They had one last meal together, and Jesus washed their feet. It was a tough time, and some of Jesus' friends abandoned him. They were terrified of what could happen to them if a connection was made to Jesus. They no longer felt joy, relief, or the hope they had once experienced with Jesus. They were filled with fear, loneliness, isolation, worry, and uncertainty about the future.
I'm wondering during this uncertain time of the COVID-19 pandemic, how many of you are feeling fear, loneliness, isolation, and worry? I know I do. As you go through Holy Week, I want you to remember you are not alone. Jesus experienced fear, loneliness, pain and, eventually, death. Be reminded that Jesus has felt what you feel, and he is with you when you feel scared and alone. Do you remember me talking about the prayer I say to myself during times or worry or anxiety? Maybe you've found one that works for you during this time.
Most things in your life right now are not as you knew them to be. Some of the changes you probably aren't very happy about. Maybe you have more chores to do or don't like doing schoolwork at home; but maybe there are some changes you do like! More time to play! More time to be creative! More time to read! Time to learn something new!
Things are different and may continue to look different for some time. We are working to find our new normal. This means partaking in church in a different way! I hope you, along with your family, have been able to watch the Morning Prayer services online. Also, the Rev. Joanne has been recording a special kids talk message for you, be sure to check it out!
In the coming days there could be real loss, grief, and hardship that you feel, but no matter how hard things get, even in the face of death itself, we remember there is always the promise of resurrection. We celebrate Holy Week to remember that in both ordinary times and challenging times, God is present and working to create new life.
So on this Palm Sunday, even though we aren't together, you will find here our usual...
Once you have it all ready, you can wave your palm and feel the joy that the people would have felt when Jesus rode into Jerusalem. So: wave your palm fronds and shout, "Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!"
God's blessings to you all,
P.S. Today’s scripture reading is Matthew 21:1-11. You can follow that link or look it up in your Bible at home to follow along with today’s scripture reading in the Rev. Joanne’s video talk for this morning.
P.P.S. Also, you might want to check out a web series for kids being made from St Michael & All Angels Church in Toronto called “The Green Door with Barley & Nosebag” ... check it out!