The church is closed to all groups incl. worship services until further notice.

Weekly Message from Rev. Ron Lake

Palm Sunday-April 5, 2020

While the church building is closed, Rev. Lake will post a weekly message here, along with referenced Bible readings and a prayer. This is our way to continue our weekly worship and to experience God's presence together, even though we cannot physically meet in the same physical location. May you find comfort and peace in these words, until we can be together again.


  

  

REV RON’S PALM SUNDAY MESSAGE


Matthew 21:1-11  


Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

21 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.[a]” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
 Look, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd[b] spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
 Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The  crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.” 


PRAYER: Father, we think about Palm Sunday, the memories we have from the past, of the excitement and celebration, the singing and waving of palm branches, the anticipation of things to come. Or maybe our thoughts of Palm Sunday do not stimulate any positive, heart stirring thoughts . . . just another boring Sunday in church. Or maybe we haven't been to church for so long that we can't remember anything about Palm Sunday, or we just don't know anything about Palm Sunday. I pray that when this Sunday is over, a Sunday when we are apart in our celebration, that we will gain a new appreciation for Palm Sunday and its significance. But most of all we will have gained a new appreciation for you, Let us remember that even though we may be separated by space, we are still your dedicated children. Amen


Message: Our Savior's last days on earth


The final earthly week in the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is one of extreme contrasts. I can’t imagine the mood swings that both Jesus, and his disciples must have felt.


Sunday, the 1st day of Holy week, Jesus triumphantly enters the city of Jerusalem, mounted humbly on a donkey, in keeping with prophetic messianic prediction. He later predicts his impending death and teaches at the Temple. This event is one of the few events that is recorded in all the gospels. Until this time, Jesus has kept from public view as much as possible. Matthew 12 tells us that “''He did not cry, nor strive, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets.'' Another time in Mark 5, when Jesus raises the daughter of Jarius, Jesus tells his disciples, “That no man should know of it.


In John 6, after feeding the 5000, the Bible says, ''When Jesus therefore perceived that they (the multitude) would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.'' And when his half-brothers urged him to disclose himself ''to the world,'' He answered, ''My time is not yet come.''


On Monday of Holy Week, Jesus curses a fig tree, (Mark 11:12-25) symbolizing spiritually barren Israel, and, in prophetic fashion cleanses the Jerusalem Temple, probably for the second time. He thus acts as the one who is going to restore proper worship as the replacement and fulfillment of the Temple.


On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus explains the cursing of the fig tree, and the lessons it teaches his followers. He also confronts, once again, the authorities. He teaches in the temple once again.


As for Wednesday of Holy week, not much is known. It’s believed that at this point the authorities are continuing their plotting to capture and get rid of this man interfering with their leadership, and causing them so many problems and angst.


Thursday, and it is now time for the celebration of Passover. (Passover (or Pesach) commemorates the liberation of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. A feast called a Seder is held on the first two nights and sometimes on the final two nights of the holiday. No leavened food (e.g., bread, cake) or anything containing wheat is eaten during Passover. During the last two days of Passover, no work is permitted.


At this time, Jesus calls together His disciples to share together, what we call the Last Supper, or Communion. It is at this time that our Savior institutes a new covenant with his followers. Judas leaves the table to betray his Savior, and, a bit later, Jesus agonizes over His pending death in the garden of Gethsemane, requesting his disciples stay and pray with him. They do not! Subsequently, Peter will deny His Savior three times, as Jesus had predicted.


After nightfall, early Friday morning, Jesus is betrayed and arrested. He is sent to trial before the Jewish and Roman authorities. At the bequest of the Jewish leaders, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, pronounces a “guilty verdict”. It is against his better judgment that Jesus is crucified.

Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath that extends from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown. The disciples have disappeared, most likely they are hiding from the authorities, who obviously would like to execute them as well. The authorities ask Pilate that the tomb be sealed, as most likely they are afraid that he might escape and they want to make sure he is, in fact, dead.

On Sunday, Easter day,  when several female disciples of Jesus, including Mary Magdalene, approach his tomb, they find it empty. Later, Jesus appears to Mary, as well as ten of the apostles, and several others. This is the Lord’s Day, Resurrection Sunday! Amen


This is the first time that most of our churches will celebrate Palm Sunday physically separated due to the world situation. This does not, in any way diminish its importance. I pray that each of us can and will celebrate the day by giving thanks to our God for the many blessings that we enjoy through our Living Savior, in spite of our present circumstances.

May God bless you and return us safely to our worship together very soon.


Closing Prayer

Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race, you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy, enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


RevRon

 


Below are Hymns for Palm Sunday – just click and turn up your sound. 

They are not our own beloved choir but its music for Palm Sunday and sing

your heart out! 


Also below, is a Palm Sunday Message/Lesson for the Children.

  


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Palm Sunday Hymn-Ride on, Ride on in Majesty

Palm Sunday Hymn-All Glory Laud and Honor

Palm Sunday Message/Lesson for the Kids

  

This is for the kids – sit down and enjoy your Sunday School lesson for today.


We all miss you. We usually have palm fronds to pass out on Sunday.


You can still make believe you are waving them when you watch this video.

 

Sewn Masks Needed for Area Hospitals

 We have received requests for masks to send to area hospitals. For anyone who has a sewing machine and is able to help, there are many internet sites with patterns and instructions. We have linked below to a pdf you may print out if you like. Joann.com also has several types of masks on their website, with instructions and pictures. When you have completed the masks, send an email to westcongchurch@gmail.com or bookingwcc@gmail.com and we will make arrangements to get them from you for delivery. Your generosity is much appreciated!!! 

(Patterns courtesy of Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

Masks with Elastic (pdf)

Download

Masks without Elastic (pdf)

Download

Thank You for Visiting!

Welcome to the website of the Westchester Congregational Church, where our slogan is "Look Up, Laugh, Love and Lift." Our small church with a big heart has served the area since 1848 in its current location. We invite you, your family and friends to join us for worship and many other activities throughout the year. All are welcome.

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WEEKLY WORSHIP

Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m.

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CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m.

Contact Us

Email

For general inquiries about the church and what we offer: westcongchurch@gmail.com


To inquire about the church calendar or to book an event:  bookingWCC@gmail.com

Westchester Congregational Church

98 Cemetery Rd. Colchester, Connecticut 06415, United States

Worship Service Sunday 10:00 a.m.

Sunday School  Sunday 10:00 a.m.


Pastor/Parsonage:  860.267.0480

95 Cemetery Rd.

Colchester, CT 06415


Canney Hall Phone:  860.267.6711