Snow-covered palm branches

April 6, 2009 | 13 comments

A late-season blizzard in northwest Iowa canceled Palm Sunday today. … Well, almost.

We’ve never missed Palm Sunday before. We wouldn’t miss today.

We were snowed in at the neighbors’ house, and that’s where we had our Palm Sunday.

Now, let me be make this clear: This was an on-purpose “snow-in” with the neighbors. These are some of our dearest friends, who also happen to be a part of our church family. On Saturday night, the storm was headed our way. Our neighbors called: Would we be interested in a pajama party?

We didn’t hesitate. Within 45 minutes, we packed our bags, put on pajamas and drove a mile up the road. Together, we waited for the promised 10-inch snowfall.

It came.

By morning, our church president had called. Services were canceled.

Services were canceled. But Palm Sunday wasn’t.

We had Palm Sunday around a kitchen table. No palm branches — only blowing snow.

No fancy dresses; we wore pajamas.

No communion wine; we sipped coffee today.

No pews filled. Just four friends and God. Rob, Michelle, Scott and Jennifer.

But this we had: The Word.

Matthew 21:1-11
Mark 11:1-11
Luke 19: 28:44
John 12:12-19

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.”


My friend, Jim Schaap over at Stuff in the Basement, has a beautiful post that sees the crucifixion through the veil of a Palm Sunday snowstorm. Worth a read, even if you live in sunny Florida.

by | April 6, 2009 | 13 comments


  1. God's Not Finished With Us Yet...

    OMGosh, Jennifer that is so incredible! I love this. Maybe I’m just super emotional lately but it had me in tears and a huge smile upon my face as I read your story. The idea that you still had ‘church’ but without the building; that’s what it’s really all about ya know?

    Once when I was in ALSOM (Abundant Life School of Ministry) we were given a craft to work with our fellow peers to ‘build’ a church using just the materials given to us by the Instructor. We worked within our groups and at the very end the instructor of the class told us (in a nice way) that we all failed the assignment. Mind you, this man is a man of God and very loving and gentle, so he wasn’t intending on being rude but his intent was to make a strong point; which relates to your story.

    He said ‘A church is not a church unless you have the people in it serving the Lord. To build a church, you build ‘people’, not buildings or walls, or windows….a church service or meeting or ‘having church’ can be done anywhere (in homes, in the car with your family…) as long as you have the people worshiping and praising God, talking about Him, honoring Him, ect. The make up of the church is those that are inside of it, seeking after Him with open hearts ready to receive.’

    This is what your wonderful story reminded me of tonight. You had church even though ‘church’ (in the building was cancelled) How awesome is that?

    Plus throw in a pajama party and coffee; how cool is that? It sounds like a blast! Uh, and why wasn’t I invited???? 😀

  2. valerie

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. How neat that your Esther group ending with communion too. I read your post about that night and loved how you served the elements.

    I also love that you were able to be with your friends at the pajama party. How fun!! Being snowed in together with friends and enjoying coffee on a cold, snowy morning. Awww!

    How true your post is about time. I love the shaving cream idea and the simple chalk drawing of hopscotch on the drive way. I was just wondering the other day if kids still know how to play hopscotch? Those simple yet fun times will never be forgotten. Thanks for sharing.

    I love your blog and will visit again soon.

    Have a great day!

    Valerie in Oklahoma

  3. spaghettipie

    Loved your thoughts this morning. The beauty of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem is so much more than meeting together in a church building and handing out palm leaves to remind us of an event. I love that you found it around a breakfast table, in relationship, pondering Jesus and his life. Seems like a bit of foreshadowing.

  4. Billy Coffey

    These words touched my heart. Sometimes the coldness of the world can dampen our desire to worship, can convince us that the best thing to do is stay in bed and wait until tomorrow.

    Glad you didn’t.

  5. Christine

    Awe, how sweet is this! I love it and what a wonderful idea! Snowed in or not…I think jammie parties are a year around must! Blessing on ya!


    Your post made me remember a Sunday when we had communion with apple juice and raisin bread, all that was available in the church. A foot of snow the night before. Twelve of us made it to services that day. It was a special day.

    Peace to you,


  7. Alleluiabelle

    I am truly touched by the time you had with your friends. The time you all shared together as a family in Christ. The time you shared in the Word. That's what it's all about. That's what it's all about, Him.

    Bless you sweet one, because you sure do bless me and so many others everytime we come here.

    Hugs & Prayers,

  8. Alleluiabelle

    Hi Jennifer,

    I’m such a ‘fan’ of yours…to see what that means…please stop by my site. I have a surprise for you there.

    You fill me up here. You’re site is among the top in my reading.


  9. Alleluiabelle

    Hi Jennifer,

    I was trying to fix some things on my followers listing. If you signed in as a follower of mine on my home page, it somehow got taken off. I don't know what I did, unless I inadvertently hit a button by accident, which I am prone to do. If you were a follower on my site and it got deleted, it was totally by accident and I apologize. It's not the first time I've done that.

    Hugs & Blessings,

  10. Chris Godfredsen

    We had worship, and a Palm Sunday message (sort of – you read it), but part of me is envious that Kathy and I weren’t sitting around that table with you. Worship in its truest form.

    Be blessed this Easter week!

  11. Chris Godfredsen

    We had worship, and a Palm Sunday message (sort of – you read it), but part of me is envious that Kathy and I weren’t sitting around that table with you. Worship in its truest form.

    Be blessed this Easter week!

  12. lynnrush

    Amazing story. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Freedom in the Dance

    How awesome to sit around a kitchen table with ‘family’, friends and Jesus…and to share His Life…aaahhh!


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