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Pastoral Message for Palm Sunday

Hello.

For those who don't know me, my name is Sean Adair. I am the Superintendent Minister for the Derbyshire North East Circuit and the Deputy Chair of the District. Now that our Chair of District, Gill is on sabbatical, I will be keeping watch, on her behalf over the life and work of our Sheffield District over the next three months.

As Lent comes toward its conclusion for 2021, this week on Tuesday we've recognised nationally that it has been one year since our Prime Minister announced the lockdown measures resulting from the Covid19 pandemic. It has been a tough year in oh so many ways. It has also been a year of experiment and of learning new things and new skills. We've been forced to look at Church and being disciples of Christ with fresh eyes. It has been a year of loss for far too many families in far too many ways. However, we've also been reminded by our President of the Conference in his theme, that 'best of all, is God is with us'.

On Palm Sunday we often reflect on the humility and vulnerability of Christ as he comes down the Mount of Olives to enter Jerusalem. More recent biblical commentaries speak about this event as a counter demonstration to what was most likely happening on the same day at the far side of the city, namely the arrival of Pilate, a show of force to ensure that peace would be kept during the Festival of Passover. Jesus, humble and putting himself in a vulnerable position, subtly challenging both the powers of Judaism and Rome. There is no true bravery or change without making ourselves vulnerable. And within days, that vulnerability would be pushed to the extreme on the cross. Within days they will call out "Crucify him" but today, they shout loudly, and triumphantly, "Hosanna". Hosanna. How many times have we sung the word hosanna? Do we know what it means? Originally it was a prayer – hosanna – save now Lord! It became a word of confident praise – only you can save us now Lord.

As we journey from Palm Sunday, through Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and on to Easter Sunday and beyond, may we both pray for God's help in our intercessions and petitionary prayers and proclaim in faith that we recognise that he alone is our help, our Saviour. "My Jesus, my Saviour, Lord there is none like you."

Amen

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