I always try to find an alternative to a sermon for Palm Sunday so I can get a head start on Holy Week. This year I developed a responsive reading that covers the highlights of the events between Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday. We read the regular lectionary text for Palm Sunday from Matthew in the usual spot in worship. Where the sermon goes I gave a brief introduction and used the following responsive reading. It’s about the same length as a sermon it’s broken up with verses of a hymn so it filled the same amount of time. This liturgy uses the CEB translation of Matthew 21:12-17; 22:1-10, 34-40; 23:23-28, 37-39; 24:1-2, 36-44; 25:31-40; 26:1-5.
Click here for the PDF: Palm Sunday 2017 responsive scripture reading
Call to Worship for Lent 5 Year A based on John 11:1-45, the raising of Lazarus.
We come together and cry out to God:
We are sick, we are hurting, we are dying, Lord! Come quick!
Jesus says, “The illness isn’t fatal. I will be glorified through it.”
But we are in such pain, we can’t go on! Where are you, Lord?
We are in the darkest place, the stench of death surrounds us. We are done.
“If you had only been here sooner, Lord!”
Jesus weeps and says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. Do you believe this?”
Yes, Lord, we believe! Show us! Work miracles out of our greatest tragedies!
A Call to Worship for Lent 5 Year A based on John 9:1-38, the man born blind
God has called us to come
to heal the blindness of our souls.
In our faith our eyes are opened,
our lives are transformed.
The world will want to know how we have come to see things so differently.
God make us ready to tell the world about Christ’s healing power.
We’ve come to the source
in search of a drink.
God alone gives water that quenches our thirst forever.
Give us this living water, oh God!
Our souls thirst as we work to follow Christ.
Fill us so we become a spring bubbling with life!