Monday, April 18, 2011

Looking Forward to April 21, 2011 -- Maundy Thursday

The Scripture Passages for Thursday are:
  • John 13:1-17, 31b-35
  • Exodus 12:1-14
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For this service we are mixing our worship and our potluck. We will have reflections on the three stories:

The washing of the feet: a story that calls us to be servants to each other.A story that tells us such servanthood is a sign of the love we have for each other. After we reflect on this story we will pause before our meal to wash each other's hands.

The First Passover: In Mark, Matthew and Luke the last meal Jesus shares with his friends is a celebration of the Passover. This was a meal of memory and teaching. It recalled the story of being freed from slavery. But beyond memory it also reminded people that they too were set free from bondage.

The Eucharist: From the earliest moments the movement that became Christianity was marked by table fellowship. Indeed it was one of the markers of Jesus' ministry that he met at table with anyone -- to the apparent dismay of some onlookers, as the Gospel accounts attest. Here Paul passes on the developing tradition that would eventually become our Communion meal. Again a meal of memory. Again a meal of freedom. It has been said, with some justification but still not quite accurate, that the Communion meal is Christianity's equivalent of the Jewish Passover. What is certain, and has often been lost in Christian tradition, is that the earliest celebrations of the memory meal were part of a "whole meal deal", not just a symbolic meal during worship. And so this Thursday we will reconnect the Communion meal with the full meal.

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