Worship at Home for March 24, 2024

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Palm/Passion Sunday. This Sunday’s theme is Fear. We all have moments of fear. Pray to God to over come our fears so that we may live fully in Christ.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church).

  • New Members’ Sunday on Palm Sunday, March 24 with a reception to follow.
  • Maundy Thursday Worship on at 6:30pm on Thursday.
  • Community Good Friday worship at St. Peter’s at 12 noon on Friday.
  • Easter Sunrise Worship at 6:30am in St. Peter’s Cemetery
  • Youth to Sky Zone in April. Talk to Carol Nowack for more information.
  • The Dorcas would like to expand their membership to include more people (maybe both men and women) for social and service activities. Please see a Dorcas member about joining their wonderful group.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 • Mark 11:1-11 • John 12:12-16

Sermon: Fear

What are you afraid of? Most of us can list several things that frighten us. Our fears may change with time, place, and age. We may fear the water until we learn to swim. Loud noises may frighten us. Loud explosions will cause a fear reaction unless we know that the source of the sound comes from celebratory fireworks. Fear is quite a common emotion and drives much of human behavior. Knowing our fears and the fears of others may help us understand one another.

This Sunday’s theme is Fear. Fear is an emotion that drove a lot of what happened during Holy Week: Fear of Roman reprisal. Fear of loss of power. Fear of death. Fear of being alone. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being discovered. Fear of monetary loss. Fear of failure. These are some of the fears that drove the actions of the people.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. Holy Week begins with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover festival. I will be focusing on the story in John’s Gospel this Sunday, but I wanted us to hear the story from Mark’s Gospel too. Mark 11:1-11 makes the entry into Jerusalem sound well planned and thought out by Jesus, because Jesus sent two disciples to go to the next village and find an unridden colt for Jesus to ride.

In John, the celebration as Jesus came to Jerusalem has already begun when Jesus finds the donkey’s colt to ride. John makes the triumphal entry sound more spontaneous. John tells us that Jesus traveled to Jerusalem after raising Lazarus from the dead in the village of Bethany outside of Jerusalem. A group of people accompanied Jesus from Bethany into Jerusalem. There already was a great crowd of people who had come to Jerusalem for the festival, when they heard that Jesus was arriving in Jerusalem, they gathered branches and went to meet him. They waved their palms like flags and scattered the ground with branches. The great crowd shouted the words from Psalm 118 that faithful Jews attending a temple festival often recited, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!” Jesus found the donkey colt and rode it. This donkey symbolized that Jesus was a peaceful King and that the people were not to be afraid. But some were…

Hosanna means save us. From what or from whom did the people in the great crowd need saving? Who would be threatened if Jesus became King? Would revolutionary violence erupt in Jerusalem as this great crowd sought to make Jesus their King? What would Rome do in response? Along side the hope of Jesus’ triumphal entry, there was fear. Riding the donkey did not assuage those who were afraid of Jesus and his power.

Hosanna, did the people shouting this hope that Jesus would do the frightening work of evicting Rome for them? Did they hope that Jesus would enter the temple and use God’s power to destroy their enemies? Did they hope for power for themselves? In their fear did they turn against Jesus when their hopes turned into trial and crucifixion?

When we are tempted to believe that we would have stayed by Jesus side through thick and thin, remember that even those who were closest to him were afraid when Jesus was arrested. Judas betrayed Jesus. Peter denied Jesus. Most of the disciples went into hiding. The women stood weeping at a distance. Fear is a powerful emotion.

But on this Palms Sunday, let us put aside our fears even if it is just for a day. Let us pick up our palms, wave them around and lay them on the ground. Let us sing Hosanna! Let us say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” Let us be a great crowd of joyful people enjoying this disruption of ordinary life. Let us just praise the Lord!

Prayer: Hosanna to our God who saves! Help me to put aside all my fears and rejoice in you this day. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list for a while, Mark’ s brother Billy, Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z., Jesse, Tammy. Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, John, Dixon’s daughter, Ashlely and Cody, Garth, Linda, Tessa, Carl, Kimbra, Liz’s father, Dannie, Lathe, Marilyn, Kris, Lee Ann, Bob, Diane, Linda, Keetha, Carly, Mia (Good news, she is healing.), Brenda, David, Dave, Jeff, Bill & Kathleen, Bill with cancer, Nancy and Pat, Son-in-law of friends for Diann K., Vickie M. who has double pneumonia. If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.