Maundy Thursday was a really special night. And for me that began with the preparations and rehearsals - they felt different - they felt worshipful in a way that I haven't experienced in my time of planning before. God was obviously using my time leading up to that night to speak truth to my own heart that I was trying to articulate to those we would be leading. It was the times of secret place worship that fed our gathered time.
Because Maundy Thursday remembers when Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples and instituted the Communion, we set up intentionally in a circle around the center of the room. And at the center of the room - communion. It is the center of relationship, the center of God's heart, and the central part of our gathering. At the center of any family gathering is the table - at the center of God's family gathering - The Lord's Table.
WELCOME: Luke 19:35-44, 22:14-23, 47-53, 63-71, Matthew 27:15-26, 32-46, Luke 23:44-45, John 19:28-3
HERE IS LOVE
O THE DEEP DEEP LOVE OF JESUS
MAN OF SORROWS (Traditional)
MAN OF SORROWS (Hillsong)
Special Song: BONDS OF LOVE
This is a song that I wrote with Shelly Moore specifically for this evening...
The bonds of love a seal a sign Creation and Creator bind
The Word of God in overflow with breath and dust God’s image sown
The bonds of love reached down below, affections set, God draws His own Once enemies, now calls us friends, He will be with us till the end
The bonds of love sent Christ the Son All wrath consuming love in One Obedient in death and loss, He took our place upon the cross
The bonds of love have never loosed, though hell approached they will not move Defeating fear and death and grave, the bonds of love forever reign
BREAD - Confession: "Merciful God, for the things we have done that we regret, forgive us; for the things we have failed to do that we regret, forgive us; for all the times we have acted without love, forgive us; for all the times we have reacted without thought, forgive us; for all the times we have withdrawn care, forgive us; for all the times we have failed to forgive, forgive us. For hurtful words said and helpful words unsaid, for unfinished tasks and unfulfilled hopes, God of all time, forgive us and help us to lay down our burden of regret. Amen." [The Worship Sourcebook]
NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD
ASSURANCE: We have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Jesus we remember tonight is the Savior of the world. In Christ we are forgiven. And through him God abides with even us. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow! —based on 1 John 4:14-16, NRSV
THE WONDROUS CROSS - JESUS MESSIAH - LORD I NEED YOU
HOW DEEP THE FATHER'S LOVE FOR US
WHEN I SURVEY
MY JESUS I LOVE THEE
BENEDICTION: The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, remain with you always. Amen.
—based on Philippians 4:7
POWER TO REDEEM
As you plan, prepare and pray - you're also hoping and praying that the direction you're feeling the Holy Spirit leading you to pursue in song choice, liturgy, and space will help to communicate that heart and vision of worship, and not hinder it with distraction.
One of the most humbling pieces of feedback I heard as a result of this night, was about an older woman in our church who recently lost her non-believing husband; who said it was the first time since her husband died that she felt and peace and was able to sleep through the night and wake up rested. And those are the times that the Spirit whispers He is ultimately the One who leads and speaks for all of our planning and preparation is nothing without His movement. Praise God.