WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
Maundy Thursday Service of The Lord’s Supper
Prayer for Invocation
Come Lord Jesus, and be our guest, stay with us for day is ending. With friend, with stranger, with young and with old, be among us tonight. Come close to us that we may come close to you. Forgive us that we may forgive one another. Renew us so that, where we have failed, we may begin again. Amen.
A Communion Observance in Scripture and Song
A Reading from John 13:1-17.
Jesus teaches the disciples how to serve one another.
A Reading from John 13:21-30.
Jesus foretells his betrayal.
A Reading from John 13:31-35.
Jesus commands the disciples to love another.
A Reading from Matthew 26:26-30.
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper.
The Hymn of our Lives
To commune is very different than to each a ritual meal, and it is just as holy. In this moment, in this time we are all at table as one. All the members of the church, along with all those who hunger for something more and stumbled across us this evening, have been drawn together by the power of the Holy Spirit so that despite being in homes as individuals, as couples, as families, none of us is alone.
Jesus taught his disciples that as they broke bread he would be with them. They sang hymns from the psalms and claimed God’s presence even in trying times. God is with us, even now.
Tonight, when sitting to dinner, look at what lies in front of you. Give thanks for the many, many hands who made it possible – from the original planters and harvesters, to those who brought it to market, stocked it, for all those who “shepherded” it on the way. Give thanks for the many who have “shepherded” you on your way through this life and those you have cared for as well. Name these people, these relationships and give thanks to God for the gift they have been in your life.
Now pause. Breathe deeply.
All these relationships – even those who have departed from this realm – are Beloved Community. Jesus speaks of being known for the love we have for each other, for the simple ways in which we give ourselves to each other. The time we patiently give; the gifts of talent and service; the very fruits of our labor that are all an outpouring of the love of God flowing through the Church, which is the broken body of Christ in this world.
The Beloved Community is the offering we give to God as the church. From each relationship of love that sustains us in our families, friendships, and church community we are prepared and empowered to reach beyond ourselves to care for someone new. This meal we take together this evening is a sign of God’s presence through the relationships of love in our lives.
Our Faith Formation Team has found a great resource to teach children about the Last Supper. Families may find this to be a wonderful way to interact together while joining all those worshipping over a “social distancing shared meal.”
Peace be with you all, this day and always. Amen.
Reading One – John 13:1-17
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
Reading Two – John 13:21-30
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
Reading Three – John 13:31-35
When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
Reading Four – Matthew 26:26-30
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.