A Meditation for Maundy Thursday

This meditation is about half an hour long; it include music, today’s Gospel and prayers.

Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples. During the meal Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples. Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command,” and refers to Jesus’ commandment to the disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you.”

How can we best do this especially at this difficult time? Follow the words of this hymn.

Today’s Gospel Reading: Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.

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.”

Simply Jesus is an attempt to bring you back to the simplicity ...

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. 

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “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.”

Psalm 51: Have mercy upon me, O God. (Follow the words in English below)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight,so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.  The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Prayers for Maundy Thursday

Christ knelt and washed his disciples feet. As we follow his example, grant us servant hearts, that we might love
without counting the cost, and serve not thinking of our own status, but putting others before ourselves. May our church be a servant community and may we live and proclaim the grace of the gospel.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Christ broke bread, shared it among his disciples and said this is my body given for you. May we who share in Christ’s generosity be generous to others. May we hunger and thirst for reconciliation, may we like him be peacemakers. And may we give of ourselves, not counting the cost.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Christ took the cup, and said drink from it all of you. May we seek unity in the church, holding firm to the essentials, but treating all other matters with a gentleness of touch. We pray for those who feel alienated from the church, that they may know the unconditional welcome of the Jesus, the friend of sinners.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Christ was betrayed by one of those closest to him. By the power of the Spirit, may we have courage to be faithful even to the end, and to bear witness to the crucified king. We pray for our nation, and for those in authority so often ashamed to acknowledge Christian faith. For those who uphold our laws that they may pursue what is right and just.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Christ knelt in the garden and wept for the sins of the world.
Break our hearts that may we weep for this world torn apart and broken by war, greed and exploitation, remind us of our responsibility for the hungry, the destitute and the lost. And grant us eyes to see beyond the cross to a new creation where peace rules and every tear is wiped away.

Amen

Our meditation ends with a setting of John Ireland’s poem ‘Greater Love’.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. Love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench love. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Who His own self bare our sins in His own Body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. 

Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus; ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness, into His marvellous light. 

I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, holy, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

The love of the Lord Jesus draw us to himself, the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in his service, the joy of the Lord Jesus fill our hearts and minds this day and for ever more.

Amen.

[Our worship for Good Friday will be on this website tomorrow morning]

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