Prayers, Readings and Reflection for Maundy Thursday
9th April 2020
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.
Our Lord Jesus Christ says: ‘If you love me, keep my commandments.’ ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part in me.’ Let us confess to almighty God our sins against his love, and ask him to cleanse us. Have mercy on us, O God, in your great goodness; according to the abundance of your compassion blot out our offences. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Against you only have we sinned and done what is evil in your sight. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Purge us from our sin and we shall be clean; wash us and we shall be whiter than snow. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit all our days. Amen.
Prayer for the day:
God our Father, you have invited us to share in the supper which your Son gave to his Church to proclaim his death until he comes: may he nourish us by his presence, and unite us in his love; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Exodus 12: 1-4
New Testament Reading: 1 Corinthians 11: 5-11
Gospel Reading: John 13: 13:1-17, 31b-35
Reflection for Maundy Thursday by The Revd Alan Bolding, Curate
Thinking back to the last time we were allowed to go out more than once a day.
Where did you go? Anywhere nice?
The garden centre? A restaurant? Coffee shop?
Did you get to see a film? How about the sports centre?
Did you take a train journey or stop at a service station?
Buy any petrol? Maybe you ended up in the supermarket or the dreaded shopping centre.
If you were unfortunate, maybe you even spent some time in A&E?
Did you meet anyone special?
If we went to any of these places, we met some very special people although we may not have noticed them.
A few are highly paid, but most are not.
Some wore a uniform, some didn’t.
Some wore a name badge, but did you notice?
Most will have made themselves smart and presentable just to meet us.
Brushed their shoes, ironed their shirts, combed their hair, even put on makeup, but we almost certainly didn’t compliment them, we may not have even acknowledged them, we were so busy in conversation with friends or family.
Or concerned about where we were going next.
Yet they were there to serve us.
To welcome us to feed us to serve us.
To make us comfortable, to meet our needs.
Did it cross our mind to think what it would be like to do their job?
Did you wonder why they were doing it?
Probably some of them were volunteers.
Did we call them by name?
Did we look into their eyes?
Did we thank them I’m sure we did that.
They say you never know what it feels like to be a servant until you are treated like one.
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
Imagine what would happen if people in our world saw countless Christ-followers take up serving towels, drape them over their arms and willingly (even joyfully) wash people feet and serve people every day without profit, as the norm.
What would the effect be?
Would they be more open or less open to hearing about Jesus?
We are never closer to living out the teachings of Jesus Christ than when we are adding value and service to other people’s lives.
People who are far away from God are rarely more impacted than when they see 21st Century Christ-followers behaving as Jesus Christ behaved.
We are at a significant moment in the history of our church.
Our planning application to build toilets in this church is being sought at present.
But will it enable us to reach more people with the good news of Jesus Christ?
Our Church is not going to realize its full potential through building toilets.
Although it will be a relief (excuse pun) to most of us.
We will reach our full potential as a church only when every one of us rolls up our sleeves, places a towel over our arm and serves as Christ did.
Prayers of Intercession
In the power of the Spirit let us pray to the Father through Christ the Saviour of the world. Father, on this, the night he was betrayed, your Son Jesus Christ washed his disciples' feet. We commit ourselves to follow his example of love and service. Lord, hear us and humble us. On this night, he prayed for his disciples to be one. We pray for the unity of your Church. Lord, hear us and unite us. On this night, he prayed for those who were to believe through his disciples' message. We pray for the mission of your Church. Lord, hear us and renew our zeal. On this night, he commanded his disciples to love, but suffered rejection himself. We pray for the rejected and unloved. Lord, hear us and fill us with your love. On this night, he reminded his disciples that if the world hated them it hated him first. We pray for those who are persecuted for their faith. Lord, hear us and give us your peace. On this night, he accepted the cup of death and looked forward to the new wine of the kingdom. We remember those who are suffering in body, mind or spirit. Lord, hear us and welcome all your children into paradise.
Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do also for you: give us the will to be the servant of others as you were the servant of all, and gave up your life and died for us, but are alive and reign, now and for ever. Amen.
When the disciples had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus prayed to the Father, ‘If it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me.’ He said to his disciples, ‘How is it that you were not able to keep watch with me for one hour? The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinners.’ Christ was obedient unto death. Go in his peace.
Prayers taken from Common Worship: Times and Seasons © The Archbishops’ Council 2006