Thursday, 5 April 2012

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday.    A time of reflection upon the commandment to Love One Another.   A time of reflection of the Lord's Supper.     

Today is also our last Vimy Powerpoint Presentation before the Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on 9 April.      We are presenting at the Brandon Seniors for Seniors Luncheon.   This group of Seniors  (all 50 to 80 of them) meet each Thursday for a meal and some sort of presentation.  What a wonderful way to fellowship together over a meal AND then learn something!    Wow!  That is impressive!!!

Prayer:  Great God,  Your love has called us here, as we, by love for love were made.  Your living likeness still we bear, though marred, dishonoured, disobeyed.  We come, with all our heart and mind, your call to bear, your love to find.   We come with self inflicted pains of broken trust and chosen wrong, half-free, half-bound by inner chains, by social forces swept along, by powers and systems close confined yet seeking hope for humankind.   Great God,  in Christ you call our name and then receive us as your own, not through some merit, right or claim, but by your gracious love alone.  We strain to glimpse your mercy seat and find you kneeling at our feet.   Then take the towel, and break the bread, and humble us, and call us friends.  Suffer and serve till all are fed, and show how grandly love intends to work till all creation sings, to fill all worlds, to crown all things.   Great God, in Christ You set us free, Your life to live, Your joy to share. Give us Your Spirit’s liberty to turn from guilt and dull despair and to offer all that faith can do,  while love is making all things new.     Amen.    
 (Brian A. Wren 1936 -  Copyright 1977, 1995 by Hope Publishing Co)

Read:  St. Matthew  26:  17 – 29

The Disciples ask Jesus where they will prepare for the Passover.  Jesus says to go into the city and say to the man “the Teacher says my time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at Your house with my Disciples.”  We do not know who were the unknown friends of Jesus, BUT we do know that they showed great hospitality by opening their home to Jesus and the Disciples.  
Together Jesus and the Disciples sat down to celebrate the Passover.   Today,  we call this celebration “The Lord’s Supper”.     As the Disciples were eating,  Jesus takes bread,  gives thanks,  breaks the bread, hands it to the Disciples saying, “Take and eat.  This is my body”.     Then Jesus takes the cup,  gives thanks,  offers it to the Disciples saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you,  I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom”.
Do you think the Disciples sat in amazement at what Jesus had just said?  It certainly was not the liturgy of the Passover meal.     Do you think the Disciples were cluing in that something big would be happening shortly? 
The words that Jesus said during the sharing of the meal,  we use in our Lord’s Supper.  We celebrate the Lord’s Supper to remind us of the great love of God. 
Holy Thursday is called Maundy Thursday.  Maundy is 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 you love one another; as I have loved you"), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Disciples the significance of his action of washing their feet.

Prayer:  Great God,  You have given us a new commandment.  The commandment is that we are to love one another as You have loved us.  By our love for others,  You will know that we are Your disciples.  Help us to have love for one another.   Help us to seek out love for one another. Help us to be love for one another.  All in Your glorious name’s sake.  Amen.  (Hymn 225 Words:  John 13: 34 – 35)

Many blessings!

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