Tag Archives: communion

Experience Maundy Thursday

This evening at Resurrection Lutheran Church our Maundy Thursday worship will include participatory prayer stations where worshipers will experience the story of Jesus’ final hours. The worship will begin in our familiar pattern of singing, call to worship, scripture reading and sermon. The pattern will change during the Lord’s Supper. Instead of simply coming forward for communion, worshipers will have the choice of participating in four different prayer/story stations. People will be free to move about the worship area, engaging in the stations for as long as they desire. The stations are as follows:

communion_elementsHoly Communion
Holy Thursday is the night when Jesus transformed the Passover meal into our meal of Holy Communion. People can come to the altar for the bread and wine of communion. There will be kneelers available for those who would like to kneel as they receive.

 

Washing of Feet Station

Washing of Feet
During the supper, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, as sign of loving service. Worshipers will have the opportunity to either wash the feet of a family member or have their feet washed by a staff member or others.  Warm water, basins and towels will be provided.

 

 

Garden of Gethsemane stationGarden of Gethsemane
After the supper, Jesus and his disciple went out to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Worshipers are encouraged to pray for the whole Christian church around the world. They can light a candle and mark a nation on a world map for which they are praying.

 

 

 

christ mocked by soldier, bloch

 

Trail of Jesus
While praying in the garden, Jesus was arrested and taken to the High Priest Caiaphas and later Governor Pilate for trial. He was beaten and mocked, dressed in a purple robe and a crown of thorns. People will have time to reflect on Jesus’ suffering while confessing their own sin and recognizing that our baptism both connects us to Jesus’ suffering while forgiving us our sins.

Silent Reflection
If a worshipers prefer not to participate in the stations, they can sit in their seat and pray while reflecting on a series of audiovisual paintings and photographs are displayed on the video screens.

The purpose of each station is to make the story of Jesus come alive for us, that we are participants in Christ’s story. People can choose to participate in all stations or simply stay at one the whole time (about 12 minutes).

The worship will conclude with a song and blessing. We will gather again on Good Friday evening to remember Jesus’ crucifixion.

Lord Jesus, let us walk with you this day.

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Holy Week Story – Tuesday

Continued Reflections on the Holy Week Story

Readings for today: Matthew 26:17-46

And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me. Matt 26:21

And he gave (the cup) 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.” Matt 26:27-28

What a sharp contrast of emotions in today’s text!  We are again reminded that one of Jesus’ own disciples will betray him.   Jesus, who loved each disciple deeply, was wounded by Judas’ act.  Judas was not an outside official who simply wanted to keep the status quo.  Judas was a friend, who had seen, heard, and experienced Jesus’ ministry of healing and hope.  Scholars speculate what motivated Judas to do this.   Was it greed?  Or disillusionment that Jesus was not the Messiah Judas wanted?

I think the motivation is left unclear so that we can have identification with Judas.  At some time each of us has betrayed God or God’s children either in thought, word or deed.  We profess that we love Jesus with our lips, but our actions towards his children betray our fickle hearts.  We betray Jesus, when we do not love our neighbor as ourselves.

Yet on that night of betrayal, Jesus gave us the gracious gift of communion, the promise of forgiveness.  In Luke’s gospel, it is clear that Judas was still present when the cup of the new covenant was passed among the disciples.  God’s forgiveness was offered to Judas, even as he prepared to turn Jesus over to the high priest.   God’s forgiveness knows no boundaries, and here is a clear example of his gracious, forgiving love.  No matter who we are or what we have done, the promise of God’s forgiveness is declared for us.  We are forgiven people.    

When have you seen or visited someone who needed a tangible expression of God’s love?  How can you help that person realize how precious they are to God?

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the gift of your own body and blood.  Let that gift strengthen me in the knowledge that you love me more than anything.  Amen