Order of Worship for Maundy Thursday, April 1, 2021
Confession and Forgiveness
Friends in Christ, in this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that keeps us from loving God and each other. This is the struggle to which we were called at baptism. [We have shared this discipline of Lent with new brothers and sisters in Christ who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil.]
Within the community of the church, God never wearies of forgiving sin and giving the peace of reconciliation. On this night let us confess our sin against God and our neighbor, and enter the celebration of the great Three Days reconciled with God and with one another.
Silence is kept for reflection and self-examination.
Most merciful God,
we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
God, who is rich in mercy, loved us even when we were dead in sin, and made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved. In the name of ☩ Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. Almighty God strengthen you with power through the Holy Spirit, that Christ may live in your hearts through faith.
Prayer of the Day
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.
First Reading: Exodus 12:1-14
Israel remembered its deliverance from slavery in Egypt by celebrating the festival of Passover. This festival featured the Passover lamb, whose blood was used as a sign to protect God’s people from the threat of death. The early church described the Lord’s supper using imagery from the Passover, especially in portraying Jesus as the lamb who delivers God’s people from sin and death.
1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
Gospel: John 13:1-17, 31b-35
The story of the last supper in John’s gospel recalls a remarkable event not mentioned elsewhere: Jesus performs the duty of a slave, washing the feet of his disciples and urging them to do the same for one another.
1Now 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. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then 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. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10Jesus 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.” 11For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12After 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? 13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
31b“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little 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.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Sermon: Pastor Christopher Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 358, “Great God, Your Love Has Called Us,” verses 1 & 5.
Prayers of Intercession
United by the servant love of God in Christ, we pray this holy night for the needs of the world.
You call your people to hand on what we receive from you. Form all the baptized into teachers of faith. From one generation to the next, give your church hunger for your promises in the sacraments and joy in receiving and sharing your word. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Your creation provides all that we need. Cleanse and protect the water you have given for washing and drinking, water on which all life depends. Sustain crops and herds that provide food; teach us how to live so that there is enough for all. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
You redeemed your people from slavery. Preserve people throughout the world who flee violence and oppression. Establish just leadership in place of tyranny and peace in place of war. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Jesus loved his followers to the end. Grant assurance of that love to all who need it: those living with guilt, those struggling to forgive, those who are lonely or overlooked. Heal the sick and embrace the dying especially Mary Florence; Patrick Esping; Wayne Esping; Mary Guise; Marilyn Hubbard; Rick Sandway; Nancy Johnson; Ryan Holtan; Helen Schubert, and all those we name before you now. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Your Son was lifted up that whoever believes might have eternal life. We praise you for all who have died in Christ especially Tony Leyendecker and Larry Caldwell. Comfort loved ones who grieve their loss. Bring us with all the saints into the fullness of your promise. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Jesus washed the feet of the one who betrayed him. Inspire this congregation’s ministries of service, that we love as Jesus loved us. Give us renewed courage to serve. Bless the ministry of deacons throughout the church. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Your glory shone in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We thank you for generations of the faithful who have proclaimed our Lord’s death. Unite us with them in hope until he comes again. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Hear these and all our prayers, O God, in the name of the one who loves us to the end, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
The Lord’s Prayer
There is no benediction. Please read Psalm 22 at home. As you read, reflect on the betrayal and arrest of Jesus.
1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.
3Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4In you our ancestors trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5To you they cried, and were saved;
in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.
6But I am a worm, and not human;
scorned by others, and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock at me;
they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
8“Commit your cause to the LORD; let him deliver —
let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”
9Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
10On you I was cast from my birth,
and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
11Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
12Many bulls encircle me,
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
14I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
15my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16For dogs are all around me;
a company of evildoers encircles me.
My hands and feet have shriveled;
17I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;
18they divide my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.
19But you, O LORD, do not be far away!
O my help, come quickly to my aid!
20Deliver my soul from the sword,
my life from the power of the dog!
21Save me from the mouth of the lion!
From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
22I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.
25From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the LORD.
May your hearts live forever!
27All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the LORD;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
28For dominion belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations.
29To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
and I shall live for him.
30Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the LORD,
31and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.
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Image credit: Foot Washing, everysquareinch.net and Palm Frond clipart, Pinterest
“Great God, Your Love Has Called Us.” (ELW 358) Text: Brian A. Wren, b. 1936. Music: Norman Cocker, 1889 – 1953. Text copyright 1977, rev. 1995 Hope Publishing Company. Music copyright Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.