Maundy Thursday Love & Video

YouTube Maundy Thursday Video

(Made for you by yours truly)

Whether we are ready or not, here we are.  I’m feeling pretty sure that the early disciples where just as unprepared and weary as I feel today.  But?  God doesn’t need me or you to be prepared.  God needs us to show up, remember, and love.

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So here we are: the triuduum of Holy Days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  I invite you this day to join me to simply show up and remember.  And, I have collected a few things to help us on this particular Maundy Thursday journey.

(The Maundy Thursday YouTube video includes most of what is listed below.)

 

Let’s pray:

Holy God, source of all love,
on the night of his betrayal,
Jesus gave us a new commandment,
to love one another as he loves us.
Write this commandment in our hearts,
and give us the will to serve others
as he was servant of all,
your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

Let’s read some:  (suggested readings)

  • Exodus 12:1-14  (Scriptural Roots of Passover (preview prior to reading with younger’s)
  • Psalm  116 (Psalm of Comfort in Time of Need)
  • Gospel: John 13:1-17, 31b-35 (Jesus’ foot washing; New Commandment)
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26  (Eucharist Text)

 

Let’s listen: “Be Still My Soul” played by Derek Gordon

 

Let’s pray some more.  Light a candle if you have one.

 

Prayer of Intercession for All of Us

United with Christians around the globe on this Maundy Thursday, let us pray for the church, the earth, our troubled world, and all in need, responding to each petition with the words, Hear us, holy God. Your mercy is great.

(silence) 

Blessed are you, holy God, for the church.  Strengthen the body of your people even when we cannot assemble for worship. Grant our pastor and church leaders faithfulness and creativity for their ministry in this time. 

(silence)

Hear us, holy God. Your mercy is great.

Blessed are you, holy God, for this good earth and for the flowering of springtime. Save dry lands from destructive droughts. Protect the waters from pollution. Allow in this time the planting of fields for food. Make us into caregivers of your plants and animals. 

(silence) 

Hear us, holy God. Your mercy is great. 

Blessed are you, holy God, for our nation. Inspire all people to live in peace. Grant wisdom and courage to heads of state and to legislators as they face the coronavirus. Lead our elected officials to champion the cause of the needy. 

(silence) 

Hear us, holy God. Your mercy is great. 

Blessed are you, holy God, for you accompany suffering humanity with love. Abide wherever the coronavirus has struck. Visit all who mourn their dead; all who have contracted the virus; those who are quarantined or stranded away from home; those who have lost their employment; those who fear the present and the future. Support physicians, nurses, and home health aides; medical researchers; and the World Health Organization. 

(silence)

Hear us, holy God. Your mercy is great. 

Blessed are you, holy God, for you care for the needy. We beg you to feed the hungry, protect the refugee, embrace the distressed, house the homeless, nurse the sick, and comfort the dying. Especially we pray for those we name before you now. 

(silence)

Hear us, holy God. Your mercy is great.

Receive, merciful God, our prayers, for the sake of Jesus Christ, the host of our meal of life, who died and rose that we might live with you, now and forever.
Amen.

God doesn’t need me or you to be prepared.  God needs us to show up, remember, and love.

Peace,

Pastor Melinda

Not to Easter Sunday. Not yet.

For years, I have been drawn to two particular “days” of our Holy Week calendar:

  • Maundy Thursday
  • Holy Saturday

Not surprisingly, this year, both days take on deeper, extremely different meanings for me than in other years.  And, I was considering that when our church staff meeting discussed Easter this year, and my lead pastor* asked if I would prepare a YouTube meal blessing for Maundy Thursday. (I’m still figuring that out; stay tuned?)

There are lots of conversations about how the Christian tradition will celebrate Holy Week and Easter this week — in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are lots of conversations about how the Jewish tradition will celebrate Passover this week — in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we enter into week four (you BET I’m counting) of our safer-at-home, safe distancing “new-normals,” the honest truth is that now more than ever …  I am grounded, planted, rooted in Holy Saturday.

I’m definitely not to Easter Sunday.  Not yet.

In my heart, I always am.  I’m a follower of the risen Christ.  I am a disciple of the Jesus who committed her life to the hope I find in the resurrected Jesus.  That is a part of me forever and ever — and with that in mind — when I’m able to regain a much larger perspective than what I currently hold —  I will be celebrating with you all in great fashion.

But here’s my truth this day: while I celebrate Easter every.single.day.of.my.life, I’m not yet to Easter Sunday.

And, I may not be for awhile.

I’m not on the bandwagon of Easter MUST be celebrated on this Sunday, April 12 with fanfare and gusto — just like always!

Friends?  Um?  It’s not just like ALWAYS.

This is as different a life right now as anyone of us have gone through.  What I need now is not a huge celebration instructing me that EVERYTHING IS JUST LIKE NORMAL.  Because it’s not.  I DON’T NEED fanfare and egg hunts screaming at me everything is “JUST LIKE ALWAYS.”

Because, it’s not.  It’s just not.  My kids remain longer and longer in their pajamas on a daily basis.  They’ve eaten more sugar cereal and seen more Pokémon in the past three weeks than in their entire lives — combined.  We need to write down the day and date every day to keep track! of just those simple things.  We are now ALL doing KidsBop aerobic activities to just MOVE.  Who knew all of those Step-Aerobic classes would come back to HELP ME at any point?   (And allow me to simply say … no step aerobic class ever looked this good, this in sync, this colorful and perfect … let alone yours truly in said class.)

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But, even though I’m not to the Easter Sunday that so many of us have come to expect, I am with you.  I am with you, and everyone else who is waiting in this wild space of Holy Saturday.

In the words of Rev. Allison Lanza (Associate Pastor at Ridglea Christian Church, Fort Worth), The very first Easter was not in a crowded worship space with singing and praising. On the very first Easter, the disciples were locked in their house…Alone in their homes, they dared to believe that hope was possible, that the long night was over and morning had broken.”

Holy Saturday is a time of waiting and unknown and waiting some more.  In our homes, at a distance.  A little or a lot afraid but knowing all the while that Easter Sunday will arrive while we wait as the Easter people we are.  And when that time comes, when it is time for us to come together, we will celebrate in old and new ways with different meaning and purpose and poignancy to our gatherings …. and yet still and always as followers of the risen Christ.

Blessings to you all.

PS.  Now?  Go — try some KidsBop just for fun!

* My lead pastor is the Rev. Mark Sturgess (check out his blog)!