Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. October 31, 2018 was the 35th Anniversary in our 36th year in Ministry.
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Sermon For Palm Sunday year B April 16, 2000


This page will feature the full order of the service of the Liturgy Of The Word as it was celebrated on Palm Sunday, 2000.


Ray Of Hope Church

Celebration Of Palm Sunday 2000

A very special welcome to our visitors. You are as welcome here as Jesus Christ himself. Be comfortable and join in all parts of the worship service. We are building a wonderful Christ-centered Community here, and we invite you to share in our joy! After the Worship Service, please join us for a time of refreshments and sharing.


L: Today we celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Though many thought Jesus came to Jerusalem to overthrow Rome we know He came to overthrow sin, death and the eternal hold evil had over this world and all creation. We give God Glory!

A: We give God glory and praise and honor and thanksgiving for loving us so much that God sent the Only Begotten Son to free us from death. Alleluia!

L: We begin our celebration then,

A: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

L: Let us listen now to the Gospel according to Mark as we recall the story of truth we know so well of how the people recognized Jesus and cried out Hosanna!

SING accapella: We Love Your Word: "We love your Word, O Lord, for it set us free. We know the truth O Lord, we are yours eternally. So, we stand to hear your Word, we praise you for your Word. Alleluia for your Word, it heals our hearts souls and minds. For your Word, alleluia, thank you Jesus.

Reader: A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark, chapter eleven, verses one through eleven.

A: Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ.

1When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2and said to them, “Go 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. 3If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’

4They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5some of the bystanders said to them,
"What are you doing, untying the colt?"
6They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.
9Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

"Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

11Then 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.

Reader: This is the Gospel Of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
All: Glory To You Lord Jesus Christ.
After the Gospel: sing Glory To The One God: "Glory to the One God. Glory to Our Saviour Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, forever You are Our God. You brought us out of darkness into Your marvelous light. Your Word is our joy. For this we give You glory both now and evermore. Forever we are yours, forever we are yours.

L: Today we carry and wave palm branches as a wave offering of praise and thanksgiving for salvation through Jesus. Let us pray: O God we bless you for all the gifts we recieve from the Earth. We thank you especially today for these palm branches we are holding. Bless these branches and those who will use them in their homes so that every time they look upon these branches this year they will remember to give you praise and glory in all things. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

A: Amen.

L: Let us go forth in procession with palms singing THE KING OF GLORY!

The procession begins into the place of worship as we sing;

"The king of glory comes the nation rejoices. Open the gates before Him lift up your voices."

Singspiration: G&P # 356; NTB #46 Hosanna!

Personal Reflection: Notebook #78 Grant To Us O Lord

Gloria Patri and the Sign Of Peace

The following are the Scripture readings as scheduled in the "Revised Common Lectionary," an ecumenical schedule of readings of Holy Scripture. Our sermons are based on these readings.

Scripture Readings in our Worship Service this weekend:

Hebrew Scripture: Zechariah 9:9-10
Lent 5 (Year B)

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war-horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.

Psalm G&P # 184 I Lift Up My Soul: Psalm 25

1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!
8 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
11 For your name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who are they that fear the LORD?
He will teach them the way that they should choose.
13 They will abide in prosperity,
and their children shall possess the land.
14 The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me£ out of my distress.
18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20 O guard my life, and deliver me;
do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all its troubles.

Christian Scripture: Philipians 2:5-11 NRSV CT PG 197

5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.

Holy Gospel Of Christ Jesus: Matthew 21:1-11

1When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying 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. 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.£” 4This 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."

6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd£ spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The 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!"

10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."
Reader: This is the Gospel of the Lord; Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Brother Benedict, Sermon 215

Palm Sunday - The Triumpant Entry Of Jesus Into Jerusalem April 16, 2000

Rite of Procession With Palms: Mark 11:1-11
Zechariah 9:9-10
Philippians 2:5-11
Matthew 21:1-11

Lent 2000 is over! Where did the Lord’s time go? Our season of personal reflection, personal spiritual inventory is over. What did you find out about yourself this Lent? I sincerely hope this spiritual exercise was beneficial for each of you.

Today we are choosing not to celebrating "Passion Sunday" as it is often called in recent years. Instead, we are celebrating only the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. We shall celebrate all the details of the Passion itself on Friday night at 7:30 pm. We decided to try to take the celebrations of Holy Week in sequence this year. Most churches are reading the entire story today from the Last Supper to placing of the body of Jesus in the borrowed tomb. We decided to tale the week in sequence. Therefore, today we celebrate Palm Sunday, next we shall hold Holy Thursday services to celebrate the giving of the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion in the context of a shared fellowship meal. These will be on Tuesday in Ithaca, Wednesday in Elmira, and Thursday in Syracuse. Then on Friday night the Stations of the Cross, and next weekend the Resurrection of Jesus.

The first thing that must be said about the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem is the exact day and hour of the event was pre-chosen by God and clearly revealed in the writings of Daniel. The means of Christ’s arrival were clearly revealed in the writings of Zechariah. Any person who was wise in the Holy Scriptures and who knew the book of Daniel was able to figure the exact date and the exact hour the Messiah was to be revealed for all the world to receive Him. Those who spent their lives watching and waiting for Messiah to appear and establish the Kingdom knew the day and the hour He would appear. God gave the figures to the Prophet Daniel in the 6th Century B.C.

In last week’s Gospel we heard Christ say: "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." (John 12:23) Jesus knew the day and the hour He had to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey colt to announce His identity as the Messiah. If you own the New Scofield, New King James Bible you will find the detailed notes on how to figure the exact time of Jesus’ entrance on page 1021 Hebrew Testament. If you own Clarence Larkin’s "Dispensational Truth" you will find the instructions to calculate there as well. If you follow the instructions given in either of these sources, you will calculate the exact day and time Jesus rode into Jerusalem.

What a marvelous God we have. What is the significance of having prophecy of these events written in the Bible hundreds of years before they happen? This shows us God is most certainly in charge of our eternal destinies when we give God that total control over our lives. Prophecy also should give everyone a sense of security.

Imagine being Daniel writing these events 600 years before Christ was born. There was nothing going on in the society of his day that even remotely approached a similarity of what Daniel was saying. It seems certain that some people around Daniel must have thought of him as emotionally troubled. Daniel wrote out of obedience to the Will Of God.

It wasn’t only the Prophet Daniel who predicted the details of the day. The Prophet Zechariah also wrote Messiah’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Daniel gave us the exact time of arrival, Zechariah gave us the means of arrival. In Zechariah 9, starting at verse 9, it clearly tells Jerusalem would be the place and Messiah would come in "Lowly and riding on a cold, the foal of a donkey." (Verse 9)

By now perhaps you are wondering how the world missed understanding this all important event? Many in fact didn’t miss the date. These are those who went before Jesus welcoming Him into the city of Jerusalem laying palm branches on the ground before Him and shouting Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord, Hosanna in the Highest.

However, there was a big problem. Over the centuries two very different interpretations had emerged regarding what Messiah would do upon His arrival. They both claimed to be developed out of the Holy Scriptures.

One school of thought said Messiah would come into the Holy City and go directly into the Holy of Holies, sit upon the Mercy Seat, the place of God’s dwelling, suppress all evil from the Earth, and personally rule the Earth. Those of this school understood all the prophecies concerning the Millennial Kingdom, where Christ indeed shall rule on this earth from Jerusalem for 1,000 years, to be for the appearance of Messiah on the day Daniel predicted. They expected Christ to cleanse the world system and rule a kingdom of righteousness and peace immediately after His arrival into Jerusalem.

The second school of thought understood the Holy Scriptures to say Messiah would come into the Holy City and be handed over to the authorities of His day, suffer wholesale rejection by His own people, suffer a grueling death and after three days rise from the dead and establish His kingdom this way. They understood Messiah as giving His own life for the remission of the sin of the World as a blood sacrifice for sin.

Jesus taught the teachings of the second school, the school of the Suffering Messiah. In fact, if you listened carefully to last week’s Gospel right after Jesus announced the hour for his glorification had come, He said: "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say - ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ (John 12:27-28) Two verses later He says: "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die." (John 12:31,32)

With these words we see Jesus clearly taught the school of the Suffering Messiah who would regain the human race for the Father by drawing all people to Himself and personally guiding all people to full reconciliation to God through the remission of their sins by offering His own body and blood in sacrifice.

What is truly amazing is the events of Holy Week are clearly prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures sometimes with precision even to detail. There are hundreds of verses we should look at, and we can back log this for our Bible Studies, praise God. For brevity’s sake let me give you just nine of the many word-for-word, exactly fulfilled, prophecies which clearly indicated the events we are about to celebrate over these next seven days.


PROPHECY ISA 53:3 He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
PSA 69:8 I have become a stranger to my brothers, And an alien to my mother's children;

JOH 7:5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
JOH 19:15 But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!"


PROPHECY ZEC 11:12 Then I said to them, "If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain." So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
MAT 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
MAT 26:14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests MAT 26:15 and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.


ISA 50:6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

MAT 26:67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,

ISA 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
1PE 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.
1PE 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

PROPHECY PSA 22:16 For dogs have surrounded Me; The assembly of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;
ZEC 12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

JOH 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
JOH 19:37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."


PSA 109:3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred. And fought against me without a cause. 109:4 In return for my love they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer.
ISA 53:12 He.... made intercession for the transgressors.

LUK 23:34 Then Jesus said, <"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."> And they divided His garments and cast lots.


ISA 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked--but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.
ISA 53:12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

MAT 27:38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.


PROPHECY ISA 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked--but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.

MAT 27:57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.
MAT 27:58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.
MAT 27:59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
MAT 27:60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.


PSA 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
PSA 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.
PSA 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

LUK 24:46 Then Jesus said to them, <"Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,>
ACT 13:33 "God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You.'
ACT 13:34 "And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: 'I will give you the sure mercies of David.'
ACT 13:35 "Therefore He also says in another Psalm: 'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.'

These prophecies are amazing when taken together. And, as I said, these are just nine of hundreds I could pull out right now. Therefore, as we go into Holy Week, let’s not take the attitude that is only a time of doing a lot of church services!!

This is a time to remember what happened, see that it all was God’s Will, allow it to redeem our present moment and state in life, and inspire us to anticipate the glories to come when sin and death will be made powerless forever.

Come now into the sacred mysteries of a week known to us as Holy Week. Enter in and see what love God has for us in that while we were still sinners, He gave His only betoggen Son for us so that whoever believes on Jesus would not perish in this life or the next, but would have eternal fellowship with all the saved from all times and places, in the Household of God.

May this week be very holy indeed.

Key chain crosses were given to all in attendance and everyone placed them on their keys to remember this is Holy Week every time they use their keys this week. Faith is the key to Heaven!


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