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Sunday, April 9, 2017
Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
MESSAGE FROM PRIEST LISA
Look at him! Look not at his divinity, but look rather at his freedom.  Look not at the exaggerated tales of his power, but look rather at his infinite capacity to give himself away.  Look not at the first-century mythology that surrounds him, but look rather at his courage to be, his ability to live, the contagious quality of his love. Stop your frantic search. Be still and know that this is God: this love, this freedom, this life, this being. And when you are accepted, accept yourself. When you are forgiven, forgive yourself. When you are loved, love yourself.
-The Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong (retired)
 
Beloved Saints,
 
Which parade will we be a part of this Sunday as we head into Jerusalem for the last time? We each have a choice you see. There were actually two processions on that first Palm Sunday; and it occurs to me, there still are…
 
Coming from the west there is an elaborate royal parade flaunting the unquestionable imperial power of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. Picture him in all his finery and seated on a movable throne carried by servants. Surrounding Pilate are scores of exquisite horses, elaborately adorned soldiers displaying their military might. The purpose of this parade is to remind Jerusalem of the power and dominion of the Roman Empire as well as keep a tight lid on the imminent Jewish Passover Festival.
 
Concurrently, on the other side of town, a very different kind of parade is taking place. Coming from the east is a man seated on a donkey. This scene is a stark contrast in simplicity and purpose. Here comes one man, with no special costume or entourage, other than followers walking by his side. As they walk they lay garments and palm branches down to minimize the dust making it hard to see, hard to breathe. This one-man show is void of anything fancy, and yet it too attracts the attention of many onlookers and garners a crowd willing to shout and cheer for this man. Riding into town on a donkey is a now infamous man, a heretic to some, a prophet and healer to others, and a nuisance to the religious rulers and the government. The purpose of this parade seems to be to ignite the imagination of those now oppressed and yearning for a preferred future, one of peace, justice, equality and freedom from the Roman Empire.
 
So again I ask, which parade will we join this Sunday? Is that even a real question? I believe so. I ask because we seem to yearn for the latter and yet often find ourselves watching or sometimes even marching in the former. Rarely in our lives are the choices we make so uncomplicated that we can rest in the assurance our feet will naturally guide us to the right parade. Our faith journey includes the gift of choice and intention in order to seek out the narrow, unmarked alley leading to Jesus on his donkey. Left unattended I suspect we find ourselves gravitating towards the parade of power and might. We need community; stories, love, shared tears and deep affection for one another to find that alley and then travel that road together.
 
So come to a Jesus parade this Sunday as we begin Holy Week; we will be reminded of the power of the story that draws us together through a love that could not be contained or extinguished, even by death. We will hold our palms high and ask for God's blessing on these symbols of the parade of God's love we join, knowing that we need this reminder. And then in the days ahead we must travel the way of the cross. We will make our way from the parade, to the Last Supper, to the garden, to the cross, to the tomb and then, and only then, to the end of the story which of course is truly, the beginning of the rest of our lives. 

May you never forget that you are loved.

Priest Lisa
 

SUNDAY REMINDERS
HOLY EUCHARIST at 8:00AM & 10:00AM
   
INTER-GENERATIONAL CHOIR FOR EASTER SUNDAY  All children, youth, and adults wishing to join the inter generational choir on Easter are required to attend a rehearsal today after the 10:00am service in the sanctuary.

FESTIVE COFFEE HOUR @ 11:15am
All are invited to our Palm Sunday Festive Coffee Hour today after the 10am service in the Gathering.


NURSERY  (infant-Pre-K)  is open year-round 9:30-11:30am-located in room off the Sunday School hallway.   

CHILDREN IN WHOLE SERVICE WITH US TODAY.


NO MIDDLE SCHOOL REMIX TODAY

CHOIR PRACTICE  today at 11:15

CHILDREN'S EASTER EGG HUNT
TODAY @ 12:00!
This event is for children 11 years of age and under. Kids are encouraged to attend rehearsal for the Easter choir after the 10am service and then join the group for FestiveCoffee Hour, activities and the Egg Hunt.


EASTER LILY & MUSIC DEDICATIONS DEADLINE TODAY
Orders for Easter Lily and Easter Music Dedications will be taken through today. You will find order forms on the table in the Narthex or online. Please complete the form, enclose payment and return to the parish office, simply put in the Sunday offering plate or 
pay online    

GOOD LISTEN/READ/WATCH
Soweto Gospel Choir
 
QUICK LINKS
Lectionary Readings
Sunday Bulletin 8:00am
Sunday Bulletin  10:00am

This Week at St. John's
Journey Pages

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The Episcopal Church
Book of Common Prayer (BCP)



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St. John's Episcopal Church, 574 S. Sheldon Road, Plymouth, MI 48170, United States