Wesley Word – March 29, 2023

Carolyn Lemaster   -  

To go along with service on Sunday, April 2, 2023

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth – 

Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11 & Matthew 27:11-54

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week, the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, including the institution of the Lord’s Supper on Holy (Maundy) Thursday and the Crucifixion on Good Friday. I invite you to join us for those services next week. (See the schedule below.)

Most of us are familiar with celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem by waving Palm branches on Palm Sunday. However, while our Palm Sunday service joyously opens with the Liturgy of the Palms, it takes a sharp turn as we shift to remembering the Passion, or suffering, of Jesus in the Liturgy of the Passion.

We do this because many people do not attend Good Friday services which would mean they could go from the joy of Palm Sunday to the greater joy of Easter Sunday without having to remember the Passion. Because of this we often call this Sunday Palm/Passion Sunday. In this way, Palm/Passion Sunday sets us up to fully experience the spiritual and emotional commemorations of Holy Week so that we can be fully prepared to experience the full joy of Easter.


New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/

  • March 29 Luke 8:22-39
  • March 30 Luke 8:40-9:6
  • March 31 Luke 9:7-2
  • April 1 Luke 9:28-50
  • April 2 Luke 9:51-10:12
  • April 3 Luke 10:13-37
  • April 4 Luke 10:38-11:13
  • April 5: Luke 11:14-36


Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity

Palms were symbols of life among the nomadic tribes, who, when crossing the desert, rejoiced at seeing the palm tree as it indicated an oasis with life-giving water was near. Palms have long been a sign of victory, success, and glory. Victorious armies or leaders returning from the battlefield, or a long military campaign were welcomed by the populace jubilantly waving palm branches. Despite Jesus’ peaceful manner, when the Jews waved the palms at Him and spread their clothing over which He rode, they were affording Him the honors of a conquering hero and simultaneously defying the Roman occupiers.

Soon after the Resurrection, Christians wanted to visit the sites of Christ’s passion and even reenact the incidents that had taken place, such as His entry into Jerusalem. But such activity would not be possible until the fourth century when Constantine became emperor of the Roman Empire and ended all religious persecution. Later in that century, a Spanish pilgrim named Eigera visited Jerusalem. In her diary, she recorded how Christians re-created the events of Holy Week. She wrote that they gathered outside the city on the Sunday before Easter and listened to one of the Gospels telling of Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. Then they marched together through the city gates while carrying olive or palm branches. Our Palm Sunday processions are akin to what Eigera witnessed 17 centuries ago.

By the ninth century, the procession with blessed palms had expanded beyond Jerusalem and during the Middle Ages became widespread throughout Europe. In the 17th century Christians were not only processing into church with palms but holding the palms while the Passion was being read.

Let us start Holy Week with much joy, not only for Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem but to also mark the ending of our deep inner self-reflection.

Attached is a link to make your own palm branch at home to display in your window, which might be easier to display than the real palm you will receive on Sunday during church. Be joyous yet aware that the joy will turn to sorrow then back to joy in an 8-day period.




  • WOW (Wesley on Wednesdays) 6:00 pm. There will be no WOW on April 5th.
  • Men’s Lenten Breakfast – April 1 at the All American Diner in Muscatine at 8:00 am
  • Lenten Taizé Services – Sunday evening, April 2 at 5:15pm.
  • Pickle Ball!  – Tuesday, 11:00-12:30 on April 4 in the Wesley Family Life Center. We will practice and play a game. Call Mary, 563-299-7050, if interested.
  • The Riverbend Bronze Handbell Ensemble will present a FREE concert with a free-will offering at Wesley on Saturday, April 29, at 2pm. Our Wesley Handbell Choir will join them for one piece and also play one solo piece. Riverbend Bronze is a premiere handbell ensemble that is based in the Quad Cities. The approximate 20-member ensemble last played at Wesley in 2017.

Holy Week Schedule
Palm Sunday, April 2
8:00am-11:00         Pancake Breakfast
8:00 am               Chapel Service
9:00 am               Celebration Service
10:00 am             Sunday School Classes
11:00 am             Traditional Service
5:15 pm               Taizé Service

Maundy Thursday Service, April 6 @ 7:00 pm

Good Friday Service, April 7 @ 7:00 pm

Easter, April 9
8:00 am               Chapel Service
9:00 am               Celebration Service
11:00 am             Traditional Service
(No Sunday school classes this day)