Service of the Word

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St. Johannes Lutheran Church
April 9, 2020

Kyrie eleison, on our world and on our way. Kyrie eleison, every day!

from Setting 4 of the Lutheran Liturgy

One Pair of Hands by Elvis Presley
shared by Rhonda McNally

Prelude: Song for Holy Thursday

The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.


With nightfall, our Lenten observance comes to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection. At the heart of the Maundy Thursday liturgy is Jesus’ commandment to love one another. As Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, we are called to follow his example as we humbly care for one another, especially the poor and the unloved.


The Maundy Thursday liturgy focuses on four significant actions.  First, the confession of sins and announcement of forgiveness brings to a conclusion the Lenten discipline of repentance that began on Ash Wednesday.  Second, the church obeys Jesus' command (in Latin, mandatum, from which this day receives its name) to follow his example and wash each other's feet.  Third, we celebrate our meal of deliverance, taking our place at the supper Jesus shared with his disciples on this night.  And finally we strip the altar, and our hearts, as we prepare to enter into our meditations on the events of the day we have come to call Good Friday.

The congregation is asked to maintain a reverent quiet during the prelude as a time of prayer and meditation. Kindly silence cell phones and electronic devices
Ministers and assistants enter silently and take their places.
All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism.
P  Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one, in the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
C  Amen.

P  Friends in Christ, in this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that keeps us from loving God and each other. This is the struggle to which we were called at baptism. Within the community of the church, God never wearies of forgiving sin and giving the peace of reconciliation. On this night let us confess our sin against God and our neighbor, and enter the celebration of the great Three Days reconciled with God and with one another. Please kneel or sit as you are able for the confession and forgiveness.
Silence for reflection and self-examination.
P  Most merciful God,
C  we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
P  God, who is rich in mercy, loved us even when we were dead in sin, and made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved. In the name of ☩ Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. Almighty God strengthen you with power through the Holy Spirit, that Christ may live in your hearts through faith.
C  Amen.

God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.
Please stand.
P  The grace of Jesus Christ our Savior, the reconciling love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C  And also with you.

P  Let us pray.  Eternal God, in the sharing of a meal your Son established a new covenant for all people, and in the washing of feet he showed us the dignity of service. Grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these signs of our life in faith may speak again to our hearts, feed our spirits, and refresh our bodies, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C  Amen.


FIRST READING         Exodus 12:1-4, 11-14
L   A reading from the book of Exodus.
1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it.
11This 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. 12For 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. 13The 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.
14This 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.
L   The Word of the Lord.
C  Thanks be to God!
SECOND READING     1 Corinthians 11:23-26
A reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.
23For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25In 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.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
L   The Word of the Lord.
C  Thanks be to God!
GOSPEL             John 13:1-17, 31b-35
The gospel is announced.
P  The holy gospel according to St. John.
C  Glory to you, O Lord.
1Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.
6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
31b“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
P The gospel of the Lord.
C Praise to you O Christ.
Pastor Donoughue

What would you say or do if you knew you were about to die?
          Would you search out someone to make amends or tell them the truth that is in your mind and heart that you’ve kept to yourself?
          Would you attempt to check off that one last item on your bucket list?
This night of the Passover meal, gathered in the upper room with his disciples Jesus knew
          Knew he would be betrayed
          Knew Judas was the guilty one
          Knew the disciples could still vie for power
          Knew they would run when the authorities showed up to arrest him and that they might never come back.
Knew he would be betrayed by one of his disciples
Knew he would be denied 3 times by Peter
          Maybe he should just call them all out
So Jesus stands up from the table – here it comes. This would be Jesus’ last chance to tell them what they were doing. Remind them of all he had done for them and all they had seen him do for others. This would be the last chance to raise their sense of guilt and turn them around.
So he wraps a towel around his waist
          Takes a basin of water and washes their feet.
The OT is filled with examples of foot-washing. It was done before a person stepped on holy ground, by priests before they led worship and sacrifice, in homes before people sat down to dine. But it was not limited to Jewish culture. Even in the Graeco-Roman world foot-washing and hand-washing took place before one entered a sanctuary. Today on the Temple Mount there is fountain where Muslims wash their feet and hands before entering the mosque for prayer.
As you drive on the highways or around town “Wash your hands” shows up today on signs and adds. I passed a church that had the sign “Wash your hands; Then pray.” What parent has not sent their child to the bathroom to wash your hands before eating or after a day playing barefoot in the dirt has not said “go wash your feet?”
In NT times it was the act of hospitality to the guest. In the most gracious of homes the task was the role of the household servant.
So tonight Jesus washes the disciples’ feet
          And then he speaks
His dying instruction is not read the Torah, pray daily, go only to this house of worship, or follow only this church leader.
          Instead he says, “Love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another.”
To children we say, don’t hit/share toys/say you’re sorry
          Act as if you love each other.
Not Jesus, for Jesus there are no ands, ifs or buts
          The simple command is “Love one another.”
But love demands trust. It defies boundaries and limits. It makes me vulnerable. And Jesus shows that love through his death on the cross. The ultimate act of God’s love for the world. God would take the risk that we would come to trust the new life we would be given through the sacrifice of Jesus and carry that love to others in the world.
Because Jesus also says
          Everyone will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
So if the world wants to see whom we serve, who loves us and the whole world, who is ready to wrap us in forgiveness, mercy and love
          They will know it by the love we show to each other.
How have we done?
          How have we shown and spoken those words and acts of love and care for one another?
Tonight we hear the call of Jesus
          Love one another – because He first loved us.
          Love one another – and show the world what God is really all about
          Love one another – and serve as Christ has served us

Silence for reflection follows the sermon.

HYMN OF THE DAY   “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love”               ELW 708- See hymn below and a video of a choir singing

A  Turning our hearts to God who is gracious and merciful, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.
A brief silence.
A  God of love, unite your church in its commitment to humble service. Make us your faithful disciples. Speak words of truth and grace through us. Encourage us in self-giving acts of kindness. Let us love one another as you have loved us. Lord, in your mercy,
C  hear our prayer.
A  God of love, tend to flocks, fields, and vineyards. Bring favorable weather for crops to grow. Guide the hands of those who cultivate, farm, and garden. Let the earth flourish so that all may eat and be satisfied. Lord, in your mercy,
C  hear our prayer.
A  God of love, you give us a new commandment, to have love for one another. We give thanks for organizations that respond to disasters and for agencies that offer relief and humanitarian aid to populations in need (particular organizations may be named). Lord, in your mercy,
C  hear our prayer.
A  God of love, give ear to all who call upon you for any need of body or spirit. Receive now the spoken or silent requests of all others we now remember and lift up to you: We pray especially for, Connie, Betty, Charles,, Anne, Marie, Barbara, John, Mary, Elmore Marlow, Ted, Bob, Bill, Marilyn, Harry, and Pooh  Provide for those who do not have enough to eat, those who are unemployed or underemployed, and those who rely on the generosity of others. Lord, in your mercy,
C  hear our prayer.
A  God of love, you invite us to your table of mercy. Heal all divisions between members of this assembly. Extend the hospitality of this community beyond these walls, that your love and welcome be made known to all. Lord, in your mercy,
C  hear our prayer.
A  God of love, glorify your servants who walked by faith in this life and who now feast with you. Inspire us by the sacrifice of those who were imprisoned, persecuted, or martyred for their faith (especially Dietrich Bonhoeffer who we remember on the day ). Lord, in your mercy,
C  hear our prayer.
P  According to your steadfast love, O God, hear these and all our prayers as we commend them to you; through Christ our Lord.
C  Amen.
P  Lord, remember us in your Kingdom and teach us to pray.
C  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen

God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.

The service concludes with the stripping of the altar, as altar ware, linens, paraments, banners, and books are removed.

Read by Chuck Long and Sean Holleran

1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
     Why so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
2My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer;
     by night, but I find no rest.
3Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4Our ancestors put their trust in you, they trusted, and you rescued them.
5They cried out to you and were delivered;
     they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
6But as for me, I am a worm and not human,
     scorned by all and despised by the people.
7All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips; they shake their heads.
8"Trust in the LORD; let the LORD deliver;
     let God rescue him if God so delights in him."
9Yet you are the one who drew me forth from the womb,
     and kept me safe on my mother's breast.
10I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;
     you were my God when I was still in my mother's womb.
11Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help.
12Many young bulls encircle me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
13They open wide their jaws at me, like a slashing and roaring lion.
14I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint;
     my heart within my breast is melting wax.
15My strength is dried up like a potsherd;
     my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
     and you have laid me in the dust of death.
16Packs of dogs close me in, a band of evildoers circles round me;
     they pierce my hands and my feet.
17I can count all my bones while they stare at me and gloat.
18They divide my garments among them; for my clothing, they cast lots.
19But you, O LORD, be not far away; O my help, hasten to my aid.
20Deliver me from the sword, my life from the power of the dog.
21Save me from the lion's mouth!
     From the horns of wild bulls you have rescued me.
22I will declare your name to my people;
     in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.
23You who fear the LORD, give praise! All you of Jacob's line, give glory.
     Stand in awe of the LORD, all you offspring of Israel.
24For the LORD does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty;
     neither is the LORD's face hidden from them;
     but when they cry out, the LORD hears them.
25From you comes my praise in the great assembly;
     I will perform my vows in the sight of those who fear the LORD.
26The poor shall eat and be satisfied.
     Let those who seek the LORD give praise! May your hearts live forever!
27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD;
     all the families of nations shall bow before God.
28For dominion belongs to the LORD, who rules over the nations.
29Indeed, all who sleep in the earth shall bow down in worship;
     all who go down to the dust, though they be dead,
          shall kneel before the LORD.
30Their descendants shall serve the LORD,
     whom they shall proclaim to generations to come.
31They shall proclaim God's deliverance to a people yet unborn,
     saying to them, "The LORD has acted!"
The blessing and dismissal are omitted.  All depart in silence.

A Choir singing the Hymn Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love

From © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB129223.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989,
Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress.
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