Maundy Thursday: Today is traditionally referred to as Maundy Thursday, when we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and in particular his revelation as the Servant-King in the act of foot-washing. Most scholars agree that the English word Maundy is derived from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”), the statement by Jesus in John 13:34 used by Jesus to explain the meaning of the washing of the feet of the disciples.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!
Death wrapped its ropes around me;
the terrors of the grave overtook me.
I saw only trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Please, Lord, save me!”
How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
So merciful, this God of ours!
The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again,
for the Lord has been good to me.
He has saved me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
And so I walk in the Lord’s presence
as I live here on earth!
I believed in you, so I said,
“I am deeply troubled, Lord.”
In my anxiety I cried out to you,
“These people are all liars!”
What can I offer the Lord
for all he has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.
I will keep my promises to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
The Lord cares deeply
when his loved ones die.
O Lord, I am your servant;
yes, I am your servant, born into your household;
you have freed me from my chains.
I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people—
in the house of the Lord
in the heart of Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)
OLD TESTAMENT READING
Moses said to the people, “Remember this day, the day you left Egypt. You were slaves in that land, but the Lord with his great power brought you out of it. You must not eat bread made with yeast. Today, in the month of Abib, you are leaving Egypt. The Lord will lead you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. This is the land he promised your ancestors he would give you, a fertile land. There you must celebrate this feast during the first month of every year. For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast, and on the seventh day there will be a feast to honor the Lord. So for seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast. There must be no bread made with yeast anywhere in your land. On that day you should tell your son: ‘We are having this feast because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ This feast will help you remember, like a mark on your hand or a reminder on your forehead. This feast will remind you to speak the Lord’s teachings, because the Lord used his great power to bring you out of Egypt. So celebrate this feast every year at the right time.
“And when the Lord takes you into the land of the Canaanites, the land he promised to give you and your ancestors, you must give him every firstborn male. Also every firstborn male animal must be given to the Lord. Buy back every firstborn donkey by offering a lamb. But if you don’t want to buy the donkey back, then break its neck. You must buy back from the Lord every firstborn of your sons.
“From now on when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you will answer, ‘With his great power, the Lord brought us out from Egypt, the land where we were slaves. The king of Egypt was stubborn and refused to let us leave. But the Lord killed every firstborn male in Egypt, both human and animal. That is why I sacrifice every firstborn male animal to the Lord, and that is why I buy back each of my firstborn sons from the Lord.’ This feast is like a mark on your hand and a reminder on your forehead to help you remember that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his great power.”
The Way Out of Egypt
When the king sent the people out of Egypt, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was the shortest way. God said, “If they have to fight, they might change their minds and go back to Egypt.” So God led them through the desert toward the Red Sea. The Israelites were dressed for fighting when they left the land of Egypt.
Moses carried the bones of Joseph with him, because before Joseph died, he had made the Israelites promise to do this. He had said, “When God saves you, remember to carry my bones with you out of Egypt.”
The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham, on the edge of the desert. The Lord showed them the way; during the day he went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud, and during the night he was in a pillar of fire to give them light. In this way they could travel during the day or night. The pillar of cloud was always with them during the day, and the pillar of fire was always with them at night.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Pause for Reflection……
(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. Amen
Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen
Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved
All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.