Join our West Tokyo Union Church community for a convivial virtual â€œface-to-faceâ€ online service on March 28, Palm Sunday. The service will start at 10am Sunday morning, Japan time. Ruth Ingulsrud will be sharing the message, â€œFar and Near-Sightedness – Finding Our Faith Focus.â€
During the talk, we will discover what climbing the back fence of a highway oasis rest area has to do with oneâ€™s focus in life. And of course, one of the hymns that we will sing is â€œBe Thou My Vision.â€
The scriptures for this Sunday are listed below:
Gospel – Mark 11:1-11
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, â€œGo into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, â€˜Why are you doing this?â€™ just say this, â€˜The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.â€™â€ They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, â€œWhat are you doing, untying the colt?â€ They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, â€œHosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!â€ Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Psalms – Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures for ever. Let Israel now proclaim, “His mercy endures for ever.” Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; he who is righteous may enter.” I will give thanks to you, for you answered me and have become my salvation. The same stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Hosannah, Lord, hosannah! Lord, send us now success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord. God is the Lord; he has shined upon us; form a procession with branches up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will thank you; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures for ever.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly. For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed. I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot. For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life. But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. I have said, “You are my God. My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me. Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me.”
Epistle – Philippians 2:5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.