St Peter & St Paul, Wingrave
Maundy Thursday 17 April 2014
Invitation to Confession
The Spirit of truth will convict the world
of guilt about sin, righteousness and judgement.
We have grieved the Holy Spirit.
In sorrow we confess our sins.
faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep:
teach us to hear your voice
and to follow your command,
that all your people may be gathered into one flock,
to the glory of God the Father.
First Reading Exodus 12
12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 ‘This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a] for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbour, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.
12 ‘On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
14 ‘This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord – a lasting ordinance.
Gospel John 13
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according…
All Glory to you, O Lord.
Jesus washes his disciples’ feet
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’
7 Jesus replied, ‘You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’
8 ‘No,’ said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’
Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’
9 ‘Then, Lord,’ Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’
10 Jesus answered, ‘Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.’ 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. 13 ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord”, and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him,[c] God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
33 ‘My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: where I am going, you cannot come.
34 ‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All Praise to you, O Christ.
Maundy Thursday – two primary traditions in Scripture. One – Jesus took bread – institution of Eucharist. Two – a new command I give you. Synoptic gospels recount last supper – familiar words echoed in Eucharistic prayers.
Meal John describes – not a Passover meal. In John – Jesus dies on Day of Preparation for Passover. This is when Passover lambs are killed. Chronology is less important than what is being said.
Sadly Judas’ betrayal is left out. vv18 – 30 are omitted. We miss the symbolic phrase ad Judas leaves “And it was night.”
Instead, there’s a lovely phrase – offers comfort to us. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. Jesus knows time has come. Return to Father. Prepares disciples for crucifixion. John prepares readers for death of Christ.
New command – mandatum. Derivation of Maundy. This new command only understood in context of Jesus’ relationship with disciples. Us.
John says Jesus knows all power given to him by Father. How does he wield? He gets up from table and takes off outer garment. Fastens towel and washes feet. He receives all power, divests, becomes servant of all. Acts as only a slave could. Not even a servant would touch feet, let alone a host.
Deliberate. Hour has come – but John is clear Jesus is in control. His actions measured, meaningful. Told in the way we can learn from the symbolic act — a sign – and put what we learned into practice for ourselves.
A new commandment I give you. Acted out. What is it? Love one another – but in special way. His actions all dictated by love. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
Meal is a love feast. Agape. Love does not stand on ceremony. Does whatever needs be done. Service. Humility. Debasement, even. Ultimately, the cross.
The is salvation played out before our very eyes. Arms open wide on the cross. God’s arms embrace hostile world. Everything turned upside down. Power displayed through weakness. Authority and dominion through humiliation. Grace – the word we use for it. Amazing grace. Amen
May the God of peace make you perfect and holy,
that you may be kept safe and blameless
in spirit, soul and body,
for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The peace of the Lord be always with you
All and also with you.
Preparation of the Table
At the Eucharist we are with our crucified and risen Lord.
We know that it was not only our ancestors,
but we who were redeemed
and brought forth from bondage to freedom,
from mourning to feasting.
We know that as he was with them in the upper room
so our Lord is here with us now. Until the kingdom of God comes let us celebrate this feast.
But chiefly are we bound to praise you
because you raised him gloriously from the dead.
For he is the true paschal lamb who was offered for us,
and has taken away the sin of the world.
By his death he has destroyed death,
and by his rising to life again he has restored to us everlasting life.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
almighty and eternal Father,
and in these days of Easter
to celebrate with joyful hearts
the memory of your wonderful works.
For by the mystery of his passion
Jesus Christ, your risen Son,
has conquered the powers of death and hell
and restored in men and women the image of your glory.
He has placed them once more in paradise
and opened to them the gate of life eternal.
And so, in the joy of this Passover,
earth and heaven resound with gladness,
while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation
sing for ever the hymn of your glory:
Lord Jesus Christ,
we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament
you have given us the memorial of your passion:
grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries of your body and blood
that we may know within ourselves
and show forth in our lives
the fruit of your redemption,
for you are alive and reign, now and for ever.
God, who from the death of sin raised you to new life in Christ,
keep you from falling and set you in the presence of his glory;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Stripping of the Sanctuary
31 ‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’
33 But he replied, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.’
34 Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.’
35 Then Jesus asked them, ‘When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’
‘Nothing,’ they answered.
36 He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: “And he was numbered with the transgressors”[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfilment.’
38 The disciples said, ‘See, Lord, here are two swords.’
‘That’s enough!’ he replied.
Jesus prays on the Mount of Olives
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[c]
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.’
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, ‘Lord, should we strike with our swords?’ 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour – when darkness reigns.’
Peter disowns Jesus
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant-girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, ‘This man was with him.’
57 But he denied it. ‘Woman, I don’t know him,’ he said.
58 A little later someone else saw him and said, ‘You also are one of them.’
‘Man, I am not!’ Peter replied.
59 About an hour later another asserted, ‘Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.’
60 Peter replied, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Just as he was speaking, the cock crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the cock crows today, you will disown me three times.’ 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.