The Gathering is usually a free-flowing format of music, prayer, and message. Tonight, we shook things up to celebrate Palm Sunday and prepare people for Holy Week.
Palm branches in the lobby of the church.
After our opening songs of praise, we presented a dramatic reading from Mark's Gospel, starting with Palm Sunday, and reading through to the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. At specific points, we sang a song to emphasize that part of the story. At the Last Supper, we sang the Communion hymn, "Behold the Lamb" (Getty/Getty/Townend). At Gethsemane, I sang "Gethsemane Hymn" (Getty/Townend) as a solo. As we took people through the steps of the crucifixion, Gerald and I sang verses of "Were You There" (traditional) with Gerald's beautiful guitar arrangement.
We ended with a short reflection by Drew, and some great songs about the cross. The combination of story and song was powerful.
The feedback after the service was both overwhelming and humbling. I really feel like we set ourselves and our congregation in a great place to start our Holy Week journey.
We now start our walk towards Good Friday,
knowing the story doesn't end there...