Remember Palm Sunday, with the shouts of praise, the waving of palm branches, and the cries of “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord? The people are singing Psalm 118! Here is a familiar portion of that Psalm:
25 Lord, save us! (Hosanna!)
Lord, grant us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Lord our God, we give you thanks. We give you thanks that you came to us in Jesus Christ,
sharing with us the gifts of life, of love, of your presence.
We thank you that we are not alone, but that you are with us, and ever shall be.
Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Lord God, we celebrate with thanksgiving the story of Jesus’ life.
We remember those of long ago who waved branches and sang.
We remember with them the hope that you bring through Jesus Christ.
And yet, Lord God, we remember too the crowd which would seek Jesus’ death.
We remember that we, like they, are called to choose.
Help us to choose, Lord, God, and to choose wisely, and well.
May we choose to live lives which reflect the love you have freely shared with us.
Help us to live our lives in such a way that it makes a difference, for us and for others.
Help us to be a help to those in need.
Help us to be a friend to the lonely, a comfort to the grieving, a hope for the poor.
Help us to be in our families a source of peace, of forgiveness, of unconditional love.
Help us to be in our workplaces a source of strength, of calm, of right priorities.
Help us to be in our communities examples of compassion and concern for our neighbors.
Help us to be in our church willing servants, responding to need where it arises,
sharing freely of our time, our talents, our resources.
Help us, Lord God, to not always seek the easy path, the risk-free life, the decision to do nothing.
Help us, Lord God, to choose the way of Christ; help us to choose the way of service and of love.
Help our choices make a difference, in our lives and the lives of others.
May your presence, your Spirit, your love be a transforming power in all for whom we pray.
Hear our prayers, Lord, and inspire us not only to pray, but to make the kinds of choices that would be answers to prayers for others. Amen.