MAUNDY THURSDAY - Agape Meal April 9, 2020
Trinity Lutheran Church
INTRODUCTION - This is the intro for each year, when we normally gather here for worship: At the heart of the Maundy Thursday liturgy is Jesus' Commandment to love one another. [That is where the word “Maundy” comes from - a new mandate] As Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, we are called to follow his example as we humbly care for one another, especially the poor and the unloved. At the Lord's table we remember Jesus' sacrifice of his life, even as we are called to offer ourselves in love for the life of the world.
I am inviting you to partake of an Agape Meal. Agape means love, and in the early church they gathered around a meal shared with the community.
(A liturgy I looked at, by an ecumenical order, leads with a description that says in part: “St. Francis used to bless and break bread, and share it with his brothers. This practice is ancient, going back to the hospitality our Father Abraham showed to his visitors. While not the full celebration of the Eucharist, there is a relationship, in much the same way that blessing with Holy Water is a reminder of our Baptism. The Agape Feast can be used a shared meal, interspersed with an order of worship…” )
I encourage you to mark Maundy Thursday, “the night in which he was betrayed” with prayers and scripture reading around your dinner table. Perhaps you can use a phone or computer to bring some loved ones who live far away, to the table with you. A Zoom meeting - or Skype - or FaceTime. You might share the prayer together, the Bible reading, and perhaps the Table Talk questions.
For this Maundy Thursday service, you may want to provide a bowl of water and a clean towel for each person present. Following the Gospel reading, there are a few questions to encourage you to share your thoughts with others, reflecting on Jesus’ words: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." After reflection, each person may wash their own hands, using the water in the bowl in front of them, recalling Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Or, if there are several worshiping together and it is safe to do so, each person may pour water one another’s hands, thinking of the love of Jesus poured out on each of us in this difficult time. May Christ’s love poured out for the world, be with you today and always, In Christ. Pastor Phil
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray. Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
GOSPEL: John 13:1–17, 31b–35
The holy gospel according to Saint John. Glory to you, O Lord.
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.
"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."
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
“By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
• What do you think of Peter’s reaction? What is your reaction as you hear the story?
• Have you heard the line: “Christian are people who do feet”? In what ways do we “do feet”?
• John 1:18 says “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” What does Jesus reveal about God in washing the disciples’ feet?
• In the verses skipped in our reading, Jesus reveals that Judas is going to betray him. On this sad night, Jesus gave us the gift of the Last Supper. Without discounting the losses of this season of quarantine, can you name some possible good things which God might bring from your time of social distancing?
• Are there some gifts you may want to seek in this season, knowing that God can work life and resurrection from the midst of loss?
• We have decided to wait until we are all together again before we take Holy Communion. In this time of “fasting” from this meal, I encourage you to take note of your longings, and pray for God to make us hungry for God’s grace, and eager to share God’s love with all whom we can.
If you have decided to have the hand washing, this would be a fitting time for that activity.
PSALM: 116:1–2, 12–19
I love the LORD, who has heard my voice, and listened to my supplication, for the LORD has given ear to me whenever I called.
How shall I repay the LORD for all the good things God has done for me? I will lift the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all God's people. Precious in your sight, O LORD, is the death of your servants.
O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me from my bonds. I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all God's people, in the courts of the LORD's house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Table Grace - From Luther’s Small Catechism
"The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living creature."
"Lord God, heavenly Father, bless us and these your gifts, which we receive from your bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Enjoy your meal - perhaps looking again at the story from John 13
PRAYER FOLLOWING THE MEAL
"Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good, for God's mercy endures forever. God provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they cry. God is not impressed by the might of a horse, and has no pleasure in the speed of a runner, but finds pleasure in those who fear the Lord, in those who await God's steadfast love."
The Lord's Prayer" "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. AMEN
"We give thanks to you, Lord God our Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord for all your benefits, you who live and reign forever. Amen."
EPISTLE READING: 1 Corinthians 11:23–26
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
We are invited into prayer with these words.
Let us pray for new life in the church, new hope for the world, and God's love for all who are in need.
You are invited to offer petitions for the Church throughout the world, those in need, our leaders, your family and friends, and for your congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
conclude the prayers with these words.
We pray to you, O God, in the name of the one who endured the cross, forgives our sin, and feeds us at his table, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
PEACE IS SHARED
The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you.
I invite you to read the story of Maundy Thursday before you go to sleep -
On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’ ” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”
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. Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.”
Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”
Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?”
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.