Worship at Home for April 2, 2023

 Dear Friends,

This Sunday we will be Confirming the Baptism of Cece Clancy, Pierce Schlottach and Kimber Mayberry during worship. This is a wonderful and special day for them as they become full members of our congregation. Join us this Sunday to celebrate Palm Sunday and congratulate our Confirmands.

New These Days devotional guides are available for April, please let me know if I can deliver one to your home. If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

  • Sunday, April 2 is Palm Sunday and Confirmation (No Communion)
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm
  • Choir Practice on Wednesday at 7 pm
  • Maundy Thursday Worship with Communion at 6:30pm
  • Ministerial Alliance Good Friday Worship at St. Peter’s at Noon
  • Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt on Friday beginning at 6pm.
  • Easter Sunrise Worship in the Cemetery at 6:30am
  • Easter Worship with Communion at 9am


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29, Matthew 21:1-11


Processions signal the beginning of an important event or series of events. There are processions for funerals, graduations, and weddings. A funeral procession leaves the church and heads towards the cemetery for the burial of the body and the promise of new life in heaven. Graduates process into the venue where they will hear speeches and ultimately receive their diplomas marking the end of their education and the beginning of their careers. Wedding processions bring the bridal party into the sanctuary where the bride and groom fill take their wedding vows and transition from being two single individuals into a married couple.

We will have a procession at the beginning of worship on Sunday morning. Members of the Joyful Belles, the Confirmands, children, and anyone who wishes to join will process into worship while singing and waiving palm branches. As we process, we will recreate in our own small way the procession which Jesus made when he entered Jerusalem at the beginning of what would later be known as Holy Week. Like the people in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, we will sing out our “Hosannas” and hail Jesus as our King.

Today’s Gospel lesson (Matthew 21:1-11) describes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Psalm 118 would have been sung by the people as Jesus processed into town to claim his holy kingship. Psalm 118 is a processional hymn written to express thanksgiving to God for the deliverance from enemies. The people sang Psalm 118 to express thanksgiving to God for all that God had done. The words from Psalm 118 expressed the hope and joy that people felt when Jesus processed into Jerusalem.

These words of thanksgiving, hope and joy are extoled by us today as we sing “Hosanna” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna means save us. When people in the past and present exclaim Hosanna, we ask God to save us and affirm that our trust and hope is in God. Our trust and hope rests in God, not in ourselves, not in technology, not in government. Jesus is the one who saves. So, to him we sing praises and shout Hosanna.

In carefully planning his processional, Jesus acted like a king, a heavenly one. Jesus instructs his disciples to get the donkey and the colt to be used for his entrance into the city. Saying that “The Lord needs them,” invoked the kingly privilege of procuring property for his use. Once the animals were brought to Jesus cloaks were placed on the animals as a form of royal accoutrements.  Somehow Jesus sat on both the donkey and colt at the same time, this reflects a poetic text from Zechariah. People placed their cloaks on the ground and tree branches too as they lined the streets to welcome their king while they sang their praises and supplications of Hosanna. They trusted that God through Jesus would deliver them from their enemies.

One of their enemies, Pilate, was processing into Jerusalem on that same day. Pilate’s procession took place on the other side of town and demonstrated the military might and political power of the Roman Empire. God’s Kingdom and the Roman empire eventually collided that week when Pilate judged Jesus and ordered Jesus’ crucifixion. Just when all hope seemed lost, Jesus rose from the tomb. God’s way triumphed and still triumphs over death and all worldly powers.

Our Confirmands, Cece, Kimber, and Pierce will process on Sunday as part of our Palm Sunday celebration. They also will be processing to the next stage of their lives in the church. When they were young, their parents took baptismal vows on their behalf and promised to raise them in the Christian faith. Today after a year of Confirmation Classes, they will be taking those vows and making those promises for themselves. When the worship service is over, they will be full members of St. Peter’s UCC. May we sing shouts of praise and joy!

Prayer: God may we rejoice and sing our praises. As we sing Hosanna, may we sing knowing that it is Jesus who truly saves us. Let us give thanks to our God. Amen.

Prayer list: Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Jaqueline-Dixon’s daughter, Kirk, Barbara, Mitchell, Mahala, Mary, La Rae, Bud, Tyra, Marilyn, Tom, Jeff, Jesse, Kate, Kyle, Carmen, Sandy, Gary, Terry, and for peace.