Maundy Thursday Service
April 18, 6:30PM
What is Maundy Thursday?
“Maundy” literally means commandment. Maundy Thursday is a time to remember the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples and the events that followed in the Garden of Gethsemane leading to Jesus’ arrest. During the Last Supper Jesus introduced a new meaning to the elements of the Sader service. He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Originally it was to remember Israel’s flight from Eygpt, but now we call it The Lord’s Supper to remember the price that Jesus paid on the cross for our sins.
Why are we having a Maundy Thursday Service?
Drama shapes us. The stories we tell, embody, and believe make us who we are as they form our conceptions of God, ourselves, and the world we inhabit. We believe that by entering into the events of Maundy Thursday by recalling them, experiencing their gloom and weightiness, and participating in them through song, prayer, and communion, the Spirit of God will expand our heart’s capacity to adore, worship, and love Jesus, our Savior and Lord. We hope that through this service Jesus — his life, his words, his actions, and his death — will become more real to us.
Furthermore, we don’t participate in this service merely to remember events from two-thousand years ago; we recognize that in a mysterious sense we too were there. We see ourselves in the disciples: in their confusion, their betrayal, their denials. We hear our voices among the crowds demanding Jesus’s crucifixion. We realize afresh that Jesus died for us. And not just forus, but because of us. Because of me. Because of you.
Maundy Thursday helps us see our sin for what it is: damning.
Maundy Thursday helps us see who Jesus for who he is: the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world by becoming cursed in our place.
It’s dark. It’s ugly. And yet, it’s gloriously hope-filled.
What should you expect at our Maundy Thursday Service?
Just as Maundy Thursday was a solemn and somber day, so our service will feel unusually dark and weighty. The lights will be low, the music will be contemplative, and we will enter the sanctuary quietly and depart in silence. The service will include Scripture readings, congregational singing, a brief message, and sharing in communion. We welcome everyone to join us. We are unable to provide childcare, but encourage children to participate at their parent’s discretion.
I look forward to beholding Jesus — the one who loves us and gave himself for us — with you this Thursday.