FreerangeFriday: Palm Sunday at Home

by Lilly Lewin

By Lilly Lewin

Since we are at home this year for Palm Sunday, here is a way you might celebrate the day on your own, or with your family or housemates. And if you are looking for a way to participate in Holy Week at Home, check out Praying Holy Week with your coffee/tea cup and Praying Holy Week with a centerpiece. There is a PDF of each experience at the end of each post. Feel free to print out and/or share with your friends. And remember, we are home for awhile, so don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. You might choose another day other than the actual day to celebrate Palm Sunday. You can even do the Holy Week prayer practices after Easter to retell and reengage the story. We are Easter people. We carry the spirit of resurrection with us daily because of Jesus! We can celebrate and learn any day and worship anywhere!  And if you are exhausted by all the stress of reimagining worship, or just living in the midst of uncertainty and anxiety, you just might need to do nothing on Palm Sunday this year and just take a day of real rest! #restisholy

May you find grace and new creativity and God’s peace outside the building in this crazy season.

Triumphal Entry

Plan a parade. March around your home, your yard, your balcony, your neighborhood if it’s safe to do so. Make signs of celebration to carry around with you or if you have some balloons blow them up and carry them along. Shout Hosanna!

Cut out/create Palm Branches or find some green branches you can use to make a pathway down your driveway, down a hallway or in your living room. Lay out some coats too! and walk down the path shouting HOSANNA!

Choose a gospel passage to read or read all of them. You can even listen to them on I like to read the passage in two versions like the NIV and The Message Bible.

Picture the scene. Imagine the crowds. What do you see, smell, notice about the things happening around Jesus. How are you feeling? Are you Cheering? Or Jeering? Take some time to consider this and talk to Jesus about how you are feeling. You might journal about this.

Before entering Jerusalem….
Jesus knew his mission, his purpose,
He knew and would follow God’s plan.
Jesus was going to Jerusalem.
Jesus knew he would face opposition, hatred, unbelief.
Jesus knew that beatings, and torture and the cross lay ahead.
Jesus knew he was going to die.
Yet Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as a King!
Not a conquering King on a large white horse,
But a peaceful king, full of love and compassion, reaching out to his people.

Take some time and picture the scene… What are you expectations of Jesus right now? You might journal about this.

The crowd was Large.
Many disciples walking to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Feast.
Many were following Jesus and telling of all the wonders and miracles that he had done.
Many were telling about Lazarus being raised from the dead!
They were excited!!
They were expectant!!
They were hopeful!
Could this be the Messiah that they had waited for for so many years!?
They made a carpet of their coats for him to ride over.
They cut down palm branches and waved them in the air!
They shouted “hosanna” “ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
They fulfilled prophecy without even knowing it!

Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey–even on a donkey’s colt.

Many celebrated,
while the religious leaders scoffed.
They got nervous.
They got scared.
They were jealous of Jesus and his power, his popularity, his authority.
“We’ve lost! See the whole world has gone after him”
The Crowd cheered:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

The Pharisees said,
“Teacher rebuke your followers from saying such things”
Jesus replied,
“ If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would cry out!”

In this crazy time, what are you feeling?
Is is hard to praise Jesus in the middle of all that is happening around you?
Where have you seen glimmers of hope?
What things have helped you experience joy and celebration?
What things have made you nervous or fearful like the pharisees? Talk to Jesus about this.

ACTION: Take a walk out side and imagine Jesus arriving in your city or neighborhood. Imagine the streets lined with people cheering. Imagine the city leaders or the leaders of churches getting upset.

Find a stone along your walk to use as a daily reminder to praise Jesus.

Listen to one or more of these songs…

Watch this has various Hollywood portrayals of the Triumphal Entry. Is this how you picture the scene? Why or Why not?

Another way to imagine and look at the Triumphal Entry

Rolling Out the Red Carpet:
Think about how excited you get when your favorite team wins.
Think about your favorite star, actor, musician, sports hero etc.
What if you’d heard that he/she was coming to your town and you could be there to greet him/her/them?

How would you feel?
How would you act?
Would you get to the front of the line?”
Would you push, shove, scream or yell?
Would you try to touch them?
Try to get an autograph or take a photo or try for a selfie?

Imagine the scene in your mind…
The red carpet!
The photographers!
The fans screaming!
Here comes the entourage!
Here comes the limo!

This is how it felt when Jesus rode toward Jerusalem
He was a celebrity!
He had healed people!
He had raised Lazarus from the dead!
They wanted a deliverer!
They wanted to see him!
To touch him!
They hoped he would free them from the Romans
They cheered!
They sang!
They laid their coats down to pave the road!
They cut down palm branches to wave in honor!

Now the Pharisees… the rulers of the temple didn’t like the Competition!
They were jealous.
They were afraid.
They felt they were losing control and losing power.

Where are you in the crowd…
What are you feeling?
What do you want to say to Jesus?

Write what you feel for Jesus on a Palm Branch
Tell Jesus about your love for him.
Tell Jesus about your fears, about your worries.
Tell Jesus about where you are.
Be honest Be real! He wants to hear you and he is listening!
He is not afraid of your doubts or fears. He loves you just as you are!
Give your palm prayers to Jesus to hold for you. Allow Jesus to carry your fears, doubts and burdens today and in the days ahead. Palm Branch to print out.

©lillylewin and

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1 comment

JACLYN SHELDON April 3, 2020 - 8:31 am

thank you very much – your thoughtful work is such a blessing.

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