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The Way for Worship at Trinity United Church of Christ
April 1, 2021 Maundy Thursday
Centering Music Siciliano Henze Tom Lipe, guitar
Call to Worship
One: The Israelites cried out to God in their oppression.
Their voices still echo around the globe: in India, Sudan, Mexico, and in all cities, towns, and countries.
All: God hears the cries of the suffering, and delivers those who wait on God.
One: All who suffer, all who die, all who are alienated are precious to God;
Let us love the Lord who restores liberty, And gives us hope for peace.
All: Today we remember the One who gave himself for us, Jesus the Christ.
One: Let us worship God!
Hymn God of Grace and God of Glory TNCH 436
Prayer of Confession
Giver of Life, from time immemorial you call us to yourself.
In ways too numerous to mention, we fail to respond.
Forgive us, we pray. Our limited understanding of culture
gets in the way of fellowship with those different from ourselves.
Our limited vision of community gets in the way of your call
to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to seek justice and peace for all.
Replace our arrogance, Merciful One, with the humility and caring service Jesus modeled,
Words of Assurance
Listening for God in the Stories of our Tradition
Recalling the Passover
Reading Exodus 12:1-14
13 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of the first month they are to take a lamb for each household; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight.
7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
Hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past TNCH 25
A New Commandment from Jesus: Servant Leadership
Reading: John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world. Judas son of Simon Iscariot was set to betray him. And during supper 3 Jesus, got up from the table, poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. Simon Peter, said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash your feet, you have no share with me.” And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; 12 After he had washed their feet, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, Little children, I am with you only little longer. 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Hymn Un Mandamiento Nuevo TNCH 389
Community and Communion: God in Our Midst
Reading 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Solo Come, my Way, My Truth, My Life Anne Lipe, soprano
This commemorative act, central to our tradition, comes alive for us each time we gather at the Communion Table. In re-enacting this event, what is it that we receive from the Lord and pass on to future generations? At this table, and especially on this night, we stand remembering our past, faithful in our present
and hoping in God’s future, proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes again. (1 Cor 11: 26) Certainly we remember Christ’s death when we gather here, but what does a future rich in grace and hope look like, when Christ will come again? What does this moment feel like, entwining memory, faith, and hope? Do you welcome Christ when you sit down to break bread with friends? Whom does Christ call you to invite to join you at the Lord’s table?
Sharing the Meal
Eat this bread remembering Jesus’ brokenness, the world’s brokenness, your own brokenness. This is that brokenness. Now, drink this cup, looking forward to the new life Christ gives: repair of the world, a new commandment. Amen.
Communion Anthem He Was Born to Die by Tricia Walker
Reading 1 – The soldier’s words. – Mark 15:16-32
That same night, the soldiers led Jesus inside the courtyard of the fortress and called together the rest of the troops. They put a purple robe on him, and on his head they placed a crown that they had made out of thorn branches. They made fun of Jesus and shouted, “Hey, you king of the Jews!” Then they beat him on the head with a stick. They spit on him and knelt down and pretended to worship him. When the soldiers had finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the purple robe. They put his own clothes back on him and led him off to be nailed to a cross. Simon from Cyrene happened to be coming in from a farm, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.
Reading 2 – Pilate’s words. John 19:7-22.
“Kill him! Kill him!” they yelled. “Nail him to a cross!” “So you want me to nail your king to a cross?” Pilate asked. The chief priests replied, “The Emperor is our king!” Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be nailed to a cross. Jesus was taken away, and he carried his cross to a place known as “The Skull.” In Aramaic this place is called “Golgotha.” There Jesus was nailed to the cross, and on each side of him a man was also nailed to a cross. Pilate ordered the charge against Jesus to be written on a board and put above the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” The words were written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The place where Jesus was taken wasn’t far from the city, and many of the Jewish people read the charge against him. So the chief priests went to Pilate and said, “Why did you write that he is King of the Jews? You should have written, ‘He claimed to be King of the Jews.’” But Pilate told them, “What is written will not be changed!” “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”
Reading 3 – The Crowds’ words. Mark 15:25-32
It was about nine o’clock in the morning when they nailed him to the cross. On it was a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is the King of the Jews.” The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left. People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and shouted, “Ha! So you’re the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days. Save yourself and come down from the cross! ”The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said to each other, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. If he is the Messiah, the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross! Then we will see and believe.” The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus.
Reading 4 – Mary’s words. John 19:25-27
Jesus’ mother stood beside his cross with her sister and Mary the wife of Clopas. Mary Magdalene was standing there too. When Jesus saw his mother and his favorite disciple with her, he said to his mother, “This man is now your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “She is now your mother.” From then on, that disciple took her into his own home.
Reading 5 – The thief’s words. Luke 23:39-43.
One of the criminals joined in the cruel talk: You’re supposed to be the Anointed One, right? Well—do it! Rescue Yourself and us! But the other criminal told him to be quiet: Don’t you have any fear of God at all? You’re getting the same death sentence He is! We’re getting what we deserve since we’ve committed crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong at all! Turning to Jesus he said: Jesus, when You come into Your kingdom, please remember me. Jesus answered: I promise you that this very day you will be with Me in paradise.
Reading 6 – The bystander’s words. Matthew 27:45-50.
At noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until three o’clock. Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” One of them at once ran and grabbed a sponge. He soaked it in wine, then put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus. Others said, “Wait! Let’s see if Elijah will come and save him.” Once again Jesus shouted, and then he died.
Reading 7 – The soldiers words. Matthew 27:51-56.
At once the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and rocks split apart. Graves opened, and many of God’s people were raised to life. Then after Jesus had risen to life, they came out of their graves and went into the holy city, where they were seen by many people.
The officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw everything else that happened. They were frightened and said, “This man really was God’s Son!” Many women had come with Jesus from Galilee to be of help to him, and they were there, looking on at a distance. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John were some of these women.
Reading 8 – Joseph’s words. Matthew 27: 57-61.
That evening a rich disciple named Joseph from the town of Arimathea went and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate gave orders for it to be given to Joseph, who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away. All this time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb.
(Veiling of the Cross)
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We Receive and Hand On: Prayers for Maundy Thursday was written by the Rev. Dr. Renee C. Jackson, Minister for Ministerial Formation, MESA Team
Copyright 2021 Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.