Sunday, April 10, 2022

Maundy Thursday (April 14, 2022)

 Texts: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 116:1-2, 19-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Call to Worship                 
In remembrance, we gather:
to be with the One who teaches us
the meaning of faithfulness.
In remembrance, we worship:
lifting our voices to the One who calls us
to love one another.
In remembrance, we feast:
breaking the Bread which makes us whole,
drinking the Cup which fills us with grace.

Evening Prayer
It was a night of hope
as they gathered so long ago,
God who rescues people
from despair and oppression.
You offered grace without blemish
as they left behind the years
of loneliness, grief, and bullying,
daring to follow you
into a future known only to you.

It was a night when salvation drew near
as they gathered so long ago,
Lord who kneels to serve us,
as you tried to ready your friends
for all that would happen.
In humility, you washed their feet
so they might follow you down
the dusty road of death;
in love, you transformed a simple meal
into moments of grace and comfort.   

On a night like this, we gather
to draw near to one another and you,
Spirit who shares these stories with us.
Here, is the basin with the living water
which washes away our fears and foolishness;
here is the towel we can us
to wipe the tears of all who weep
from grief, oppression, and loneliness;
here, we find that bread,
which, though broken and dropping crumbs,
feeds us with hope, fills us with strength
to serve our sisters and brothers;
here, we are offered the cup
which causes us to thirst for justice.

On this night, with these people,
with these symbols and gifts.
may we dare to follow, hesitantly and hopefully,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as we pray as our Servant, Jesus Christ,
teaches us, saying, (The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
How are people to recognize us as followers of Jesus? It is very simple – it will be by how we treat people, how we kneel to serve them, how we are willing to share our lives with others.  Let us confess how we have not always loved others as Jesus loves us, as we pray using the words found printed in the bulletin

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   Creator and Loving God, you kneel to wash our feet, yet we are reluctant for you to see all the places we have gone in our attempts to escape you.  You would bathe us in the warm, living waters of your love, even though we splash and play in the puddles of temptation. We have received all the gifts you have to offer, yet we are tempted to think they are only for us, rather than sharing them.
   Forgive us, Holy One, and have mercy on us. What can we give you for all your wonderful graciousness towards us? As you have broken your heart for us, may we open ours in service to others.  As you have given your life for us, may we offer ours to bring healing to the world.  As you have called us together around your Table, may we go forth to feed a world hungry, not only for food, but for that Spirit which brings peace and reconciliation. This we pray as servants of Jesus Christ, who came to serve us in life, in death, in resurrection hope.  Amen.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
On this holiest of nights, we have received the good news: God has come in Christ Jesus, to fill us with hope and peace, to bathe us in grace and mercy.
In remembrance, we go forth:
   to bring hope where despair resides;
   to be servants to those who are broken;
   to love as selflessly as we are loved by Jesus Christ,
      our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of last suppers be with you.
And also with you.
Open your hearts to God this night.
We open them to the One whose heart is broken this night.
In the midst of uncertainty and fears,
we will praise God
Our thanks are offered to the One
who walks and waits with us through long nights.

When the hour had come, Creator of the heavens
and earth, you raised the cup of creation, 
pouring it into the emptiness of chaos.
Rivers played tag through the valleys,
stars spangled the blue-black night,
joy danced in the fields of grace.
Given that fountain flowing with living water,
    we drank from betrayal's bitter cup;
offered the feast of faith,
     we sat down at sin's groaning table.
You asked the prophets to remind us of promises made,
but we continued to embrace the pangs of hopelessness.
Then, because we are your own, you sent Jesus
to glorify you by saving us from ourselves.

Therefore, with those whose feet are covered with sin,
and those who hearts are gripped by fear,
we join the choirs of every time and place,
forever singing your praises:

Holy, holy, holy are you, foot-washing God.
We join heaven and earth in praising
            your holy name.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who became a servant.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, God of Redemption,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Servant, our Savior.
When the hour had come, he got up from grace's side,
took off his glory, tied humanity around his heart
          to cleanse us of our sins.
In the midst of his friends,
in the congregation of his enemies, 
he kept the promises made to you,
    to love us to the very end.
Our friend,
     he welcomed all;
our teacher,
     he modeled the life of obedience and faith;
our Redeemer,
     he endured the snares of death,
     that we might have life with you.

Every time we eat the bread, our brokenness is made whole;
every time we drink from the cup, we receive unceasing grace;
every time we come to the Table, we remember that mystery called faith:

In remembrance, we mourn Christ’s death;
In remembrance, we look to the Day
            of Resurrection;
In remembrance, we await his return to us.

Now that the hour is come,
send your Spirit upon the gifts
of the bread and the cup.
As you cradle the bread in your gentleness,
break it, give it to us, feed us with your compassion
     that we might be made whole
     and, in our healing,
          become servants to a shattered world.
As you take the cup,
mingle its juices with your tears of hope,
     so we might carry this gift
          to all who have lost everything.

And when there are no more hours to come,
when there is only eternal peace and life with you,
we will gather in that upper room called your heart,
serving our families and friends with grace,
receiving forgiveness from our enemies,
singing your joy, forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

© Thom M. Shuman