Virtual Worship – Sunday, March 28, 2021

First Presbyterian Church

Delavan, Illinois

Service for the Lord’s Day

28 March 2021

Palm Sunday

Prelude “The Palms”        

Welcome and Announcements

Good morning everyone. We continue to do a new thing in this time of social distancing. We are still a community of faith, even though we are separated for the safety of ourselves, our families, our congregation, and our communities. We will continue to offer this service for the foreseeable future. 

In this bulletin, you will find links to the hymns which also show the lyrics (or are shown below). If you get an ad (and you likely will) you can skip it by clicking the SKIP AD usually found in the lower right corner of the video. There are also links to the Gospel reading and the sermon.

For inclusion in next week’s service, please email or phone the church or Pastor Jean (who can also receive texts) with any prayer requests.

We have resumed LIMITED in-person worship. Please read the guidelines below!

We offer praise and prayer to God

^Call to Worship

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!

Shout aloud, O daughter of 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.

^Opening Prayer

We praise you, O God, for your redemption of the world through Jesus Christ. Today he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph and was proclaimed Messiah and king by those who spread garments and branches along his way. Let these branches be signs of his victory, and grant that we who carry them may follow him in the way of the cross, that, dying and rising with him, we may enter into your kingdom; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen

Proclamation of the Entrance into Jerusalem John 12:12-16

12The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,


      Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—

      the King of Israel!”

14Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:

15      “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.

      Look, your king is coming,

      sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest!

^Hymn     “All Glory, Laud, And Honor” # 192

Call to Confession

The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced. I know that I shall not be put to shame; the one who redeems me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

With faith and hope, let us confess our sin.

Confession of Sin

Create in me a clean heart, O God; put a new and right spirit within me. 

Have mercy on me, O God,  according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God; put a new and right spirit within me. 

For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God; put a new and right spirit within me.

Time of Silent Confession

(Lord, have mercy on us) #300

Assurance of Pardon

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.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Thanks be to God!

^Gloria Patri (Glory be to the Father) #35

^Passing the Peace

Since God has forgiven us in Christ, let us forgive one another. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

And also with you.

We listen to God’s Word

Prayer for Illumination

God our helper, by your Holy Spirit, open our minds, that as the Scriptures are read and your Word is proclaimed, we may be led into your truth and taught your will, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

First Reading   Isaiah 50:4-9a 

(The servant suffers humiliation but is vindicated by the LORD)

4      The Lord GOD has given me

      the tongue of a teacher,

      that I may know how to sustain

      the weary with a word.

      Morning by morning he wakens—

      wakens my ear

      to listen as those who are taught.

5      The Lord GOD has opened my ear,

      and I was not rebellious,

      I did not turn backward.

6      I gave my back to those who struck me,

      and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

      I did not hide my face

      from insult and spitting.

7      The Lord GOD helps me;

      therefore I have not been disgraced;

      therefore I have set my face like flint,

      and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

8      he who vindicates me is near.

      Who will contend with me?

      Let us stand up together.

      Who are my adversaries?

      Let them confront me.

9      It is the Lord GOD who helps me;

      who will declare me guilty?

The Word of The LORD.  Thanks be to God.

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (Thanksgiving offered to the LORD.) Responsive

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.

This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we beseech you, O LORD! O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD.

The LORD is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

Second Reading     Philippians 2:5-11  

(A call to imitate Christ’s humility.)

5Let 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.

The Word of The LORD.  Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading   Mark 11:1-11

(Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem) 

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,


      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.

The Word of The LORD.  Thanks be to God.

Sermon               The Road To The Cross – Palms Of Praise And Passion

^Affirmation of Faith  Apostle’s Creed 

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

^Hymn     “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna”     insert

Responsive Prayer on Christ’s Passion

Our Redeemer suffered death, was buried and rose again for our sake. With love let us adore him, aware of our needs. Christ our teacher, for us you were obedient, even to death:

Teach us to obey God’s will in all things.

Christ our life, by dying on the cross you destroyed the power of evil and death: 

Enable us to die with you, and to rise with you in glory.

Christ our strength, you were despised, and humiliated as a condemned criminal:

Teach us the humility by which you saved the world.

Christ our salvation, you gave your life out of love for us:

Help us to love one another.

Christ our Savior, on the cross you embraced all time with your outstretched arms:

Gather all the scattered children of God into your realm.

Jesus, Lamb of God, 

have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.

Eternal God, as we are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ, so give us the grace of repentance that we may pass through the grave with him and be born again to eternal life. For he is the One who was crucified, dead, and buried, and rose again for us, Jesus our Savior. Amen.

Offering Invitation

It might seem a bit strange to see an invitation to offering in this time of social distancing and virtual worship. Some of you may be financially affected as well. I would like to remind you that offering of ourselves is always a three-part process – our time, our talent and our treasure. So I invite you to offer yourself in whatever way(s) are most appropriate to our heavenly Father.

Offertory “The Holy City”

^Doxology (Praise God from Whom all blessings flow)     #46

^Prayer of Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks to The LORD our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Great God, we thank you for Jesus, who was punished for our sins, and suffered shameful death to rescue us. We praise you for the trust we have in him, for mercy undeserved, and for the love you pour out on us, and on all. Give us gratitude, O God, and a great desire to serve you, by taking our cross and following in the way of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

^Lord’s Prayer

We depart to serve Christ in the world

^Hymn “Ride On, Ride On In Majesty” # 191 (1-3)


As God’s own, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, and patience, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, and crown all these things with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Benediction (A word of blessing)

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, remain with you always.


Please remember in your prayers

Marian Allen, Marge Donley (Pekin Manor), Helen Hopkins (shoulder surgery), Barb Day, Verbie Hoffman, Susan (Sinn) Funke, Glenn and Loretta (broken shoulder) Holmes, Meryl Place (Pastor Jean’s cousin), Diane Schlosser, Joyce Culbertson (broken bone in foot), Mardelle Neumann (Apostolic Christian Skylines), Donna Diekhoff, Dick Temple, Myrna and Don (blood clots) Brose, Margaret Altine, Blake Renner (Diane Allen Renner’s son), Joy Heaton, Lyndee Lewis’ niece, Jeremy Warner, Rose Goeken, Richard Hopkins (cancer surgery), Dick Watts, Kyle Diekhoff (second spinal surgery), Rick Woodrow (Crohn’s)

The family and friends of Helen Woodrow

All affected by the Covid-19 virus, those caring for them in any way, and those working to find a cure

WORSHIP RESUMES – I’m sure many of you are overjoyed to see these words but they come with some precautions. Please wear a mask to protect others, as it is astonishing to see the number of people who are ill but asymptomatic. (Masks will be available if you don’t have your own.) When you enter please use the provided hand sanitizer then pick up a bulletin. We will practice social distancing inside the sanctuary, asking that those who live in the same household sit together and to space yourselves out if you do not. Please keep your mask on throughout the service, especially when singing. We will not move around during the Passing of the Peace, instead wave, bow, or give air hugs. The offering plates will not be passed. Instead, they will be located at the rear of the sanctuary so you may make your offering as you enter or leave. Some may feel these restrictions are too much, others may feel they are not enough. Your Session has considered all the available information before resuming in-person worship. If you are uncomfortable in attending worship, please know we are continuing the virtual services. PLEASE, IF YOU FEEL AT ALL ILL, STAY AT HOME and use the virtual option.


Sun., 3/28:  Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.; Worship, 10:30 a.m., Pastor Jean Sparks preaching; Virtual option available. Community Lenten Service, 6:00 p.m. at United Methodist Church, Father Tim Nolan preaching

Thurs., 4/1:  Lenten Bible Study, 10-11:00 a.m. or Zoom, if requested; Maundy Thursday service, 7:00 p.m., Virtual option available

Sat., 4/3:  Prayer Group, 9:00 a.m. or Zoom, if requested

Sun., 4/4: Easter, COMMUNITY SUNRISE SERVICE, 6:30 a.m. at Crosswalk; NO Sunday School; Worship, Holy Communion, 10:30 a.m., Pastor Jean Sparks preaching; Virtual option available.

First Presbyterian Church

P.O. Box 602, 201 W. Fourth Street, Delavan, IL 61734

(309) 244-7105


Rev. Jean Sparks, Pastor

Linda Clauser, Organist