Palm Sunday (5 April 2020): Lockdown day 10.

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This is going to be a weird Holy Week, and we must pray for the liturgical churches. For most of them, this is the highlight of the calendar. Christmas was great — with carols, midnight service, and epiphany before the great feast, but Lent is where you prepare comminicants, then baptise them to partake in the great celebration of Easter. This week, in the old way, every day is a day of obligation, and every day the church fills more until the whole community is there on Sunday.

That Catholic vision of Christendom died four generations ago — C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers and Tolkien were fighting a rearguard action between the wars. Liturgy alone will not sustain a church: it needs belief, and the work of the Spirit. There are parts where this remains.

And those churches are managing the lockdown using technology. It does not work as well as meeting together: but all meetings are banned. We can recall the season, but we also know that every day is Easter, and every day is Christmas, for the world did become flesh and dwell among us, and the death and resurrection of Christ is complete.

Collect One

Almighty and everlasting God,
who, of thy tender love towards mankind,
hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
to take upon him our flesh,
and to suffer death upon the cross,
that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility;
Mercifully grant,
that we may both follow the example of his patience,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Church of Ireland

We can pray this at any time. We don’t need toe 20K worth of sound and lighting most bapti-costal churches need for praise and worship, or the couple of hundred dollars it takes for basic robes, a table, and some bread and wine. It would be good to meet together, but the church is lead by the Spirit of God, that cannot be contained by any regulation of any Medical Officer or Premier.

Isaiah 50:4-9

4 The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
5 The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
6 I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
7 For the Lord God helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
8 He who vindicates Me is near;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand up to each other;
Who has a case against Me?
Let him draw near to Me.
9 Behold, the Lord God helps Me;
Who is he who condemns Me?
Behold, they will all wear out like a garment;
The moth will eat them.

Philippians 2:5-11

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Revised Common Lectionary, NASB

One of the strong points at my church is that we are told, over and over, that the endgame has happened, and we have been told it. That every knee will bow to Christ. That Christ will return in his glory. This is not a season that can be sustained. We have to be patient through it.

And in our patience and faithfulness, let God be glorified.