WORSHIP FOR THURSDAY APRIL 9TH

MAUNDY THURSDAY 

 

Each Sunday, and for other special services, we will post worship resources here. This will include only out of copyright material, plus links to more recent resources. To join our email distribution see opposite.

On this night, Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples,
and washed their feet, thus inaugurating the new covenant
between God and all people,
which he was to seal the next day with his blood.
Then he was betrayed by Judas,
deserted by his disciples and handed over to be crucified.

OPENING PRAYER

Here on this night,
the night of the basin and towel,
of the bread broken and the wine outpoured,
help us to wait now on you.
Let your mercy and grace unite us in your forgiveness.
And make us one with all your suffering children
who wait for your reign of justice and peace to come
and change their lives.
We pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

From the Iona Community
 

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,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

HYMN

From heaven you came helpless babe,
entered our world, your glory veiled;
not to be served but to serve,
and give your life that we might live.
This is our God, the Servant King,
he calls us now to follow him,
to bring our lives as a daily offering
of worship to the Servant King.

 

There in the garden of tears,
my heavy load he chose to bear;
his heart with sorrow was torn,
'Yet not my will but yours,' he said.
This is our God, the Servant King,
he calls us now to follow him,
to bring our lives as a daily offering
of worship to the Servant King.

 

Click for hymn: The Servant King

‘Journeying with Jesus’
 

Following his triumphal entry into Jerusalem - celebrated on Palm Sunday - Jesus
returned to stay in Bethany. For the next few days, he and his disciples continued to visit Jerusalem, and Jesus taught in the temple. He used many parables that prefigured his Passion and the coming judgement: the wicked tenants (Matthew 21: 33-46); the King who gave a wedding banquet (Matthew 22: 1-14).

 

Jesus denounced the scribes and the Pharisees and wept over Jerusalem (Matthew 23).
 

Again, he used parables to speak about those fitted for the coming kingdom: the
foolish and wise bridesmaids (Matthew 25: 1-13); the talents (Matthew 25: 14-30); the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25: 31-46).

 

Being the time of the Jewish Passover festival, Jesus began his preparations to share the Passover meal with his disciples.

READ:    Matthew 26:17-25

               John 13:3-17, 33-35

HYMN
 

A new commandment
I give unto you
that you love one another
as I have loved you,
that you love one another
as I have loved you.

Click to hear song: A new commandment I give unto you

MEDITATION (click on Facebook icon, to see video)

Come see his hands and his feet,
the scars that speak of sacrifice,
hands that flung stars into space
to cruel nails surrendered.
This is our God, the Servant King,
he calls us now to follow him,
to bring our lives as a daily offering
of worship to the Servant King.

 

So let us learn how to serve,
and in our lives enthrone him;
each other's needs to prefer,
for it is Christ we're serving.
This is our God, the Servant King,
he calls us now to follow him,
to bring our lives as a daily offering
of worship to the Servant King.

 

Graham Kendrick (b. 1950)

The dusty outer garment – the simlah – is taken off. A linen towel wrapped around his waist … and a jug of water and a bowl placed on the floor. The disciples sit up and silently watch him - sandals having been left at the door - naked feet rest on the rush matting. 
 

Jesus looks back at his followers, his friends … gauging possible reactions to the latest of his provocative acts. Who shall be the first? The youngest? The oldest? Begin with someone who will accept, without question, this unexpected role reversal. Will he? Yes … perfect. 


Jesus kneels down. Tired muscles protest, joints ache … perhaps he feels a slight dizziness as he reaches for the water … but the pure love that informs all his actions never falters.


One by one he washes the feet of his disciples. The callused feet of a fisherman; the soft feet of a tax collector; feet of a proud man that recoil slightly from his touch; familiar feet of a beloved friend; the feet of one who will
deny him; feet of one who will betray him. All the disciples’ feet. Feet that will run away when he is arrested in a few hours time. But he, the servant King, washes them all.

 

‘Love one another, as I have loved you’.
 

In past-times, our legs ached when we hunkered down to talk with a blanketwrapped figure in a shop doorway.
We felt apprehension - so many times - when we willed ourselves to converse with the lonely, troubled, stranger in the church café.


Our pride - so often - stops us receiving the love we are offered … because we are frightened of appearing vulnerable or needy. Our hearts are touched - by the sight of frightened members of our community infected with the coronavirus; and touched by the applause for our National Health Service that resonate around the country week by week.

‘Love one another, as I have loved you’.


Jesus slowly, painfully, rises to a standing position. The linen towel is stained, the water in the bowl, filthy – but the feet that encircle him tingle with the loving caress of eternity. Washed by their master, our master … who is Lord of lords and King of kings … our Lord Jesus Christ – to whom every knee shall bow – who is also the servant of all.


The paradox of Maundy Thursday.
Meekness and majesty … manhood and deity
in perfect harmony … the Man who is God
Lord of eternity … dwells in humanity
kneels in humility and washes our feet.

from ‘Meekness and Majesty’ by Graham Kendrick (b. 1950)

HYMN

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

 

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

 

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

 

Click for hymn: Brother, sister, let me serve you

Communion at home


It was at the Passover meal with his disciples, that Jesus instituted the ‘Lord’s Supper’ or ‘Holy Communion’ or ‘Eucharist’: terms for the same act of remembrance that has been celebrated by Christian communities for two thousand years, and
draws us back, with the disciples, to the Upper Room in Jerusalem.

 

At the moment we are unable to gather together at Bunyan Meeting, but we can unite in our sharing of the bread and wine, individually, in our own homes. If you would like to do this, please provide yourself with a small piece of bread
and a glass of wine (or non-alcoholic equivalent). Perhaps you would like to sit at your table at home as you would for your meal.


Paul writes about Jesus' initiation of this act of remembrance at the Passover meal. Janet has recorded his words, sitting at the table where she normally takes her meals at home, as one of the congregation who will gather in spirit, though scattered in time and place, today.


As you play the recording, or simply read the words below:
• eat the bread;
• and drink the wine;
knowing that as you do so, you are sharing this act of remembrance with the Bunyan Meeting community, and with your Christian brothers and sisters worldwide.


Click for Janet’s recording: I Corinthians 11: 23-26

READ:   Matthew 26:26-75

So Peter stumbles, broken hearted, through the streets of Jerusalem. We, too, try to understand how Jesus has veered so sharply from the path we had thought he would take - from a triumphal procession and shared communion with his disciples; through the arrest and desertion in Gethsemane; to the humiliation and betrayal in
the high priest’s house. We wonder how we could have abandoned him? 

 

We share in Peter’s confusion, shame and guilt.
 

… in the quiet of the evening use the words of ‘When my love to Christ grows weak’ to pray for forgiveness; and to ask God for help to continue to journey with Jesus as he is led towards the cross on Good Friday.

 

HYMN
When my love to Christ grows weak,
when for deeper faith I seek,
then in thought I go to thee,

Garden of Gethsemane.

 

When I walk amid the shades,
while the lingering twilight fades,
see that suffering, friendless one,
weeping, praying, there alone.

 

When my love for man grows weak,
when for stronger faith I seek,
hill of Calvary, I go
to the scenes of fear and woe.

 

Click here for: When my love to Christ grows weak
 

HYMN:

My song is love unknown,
my Saviour's love to me;
love to the loveless shown,
that they might lovely be.
O who am I,
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh, and die?

 

He came from his blest throne
salvation to bestow;
but men made strange, and none
the longed-for Christ would know:
but oh, my friend,
my friend indeed,
who at my need
his life did spend.

 

Sometimes they strew his way,
and his sweet praises sing;
resounding all the day
hosannas to their King:
then "Crucify!"
is all their breath,
and for his death
they thirst and cry.

 


 

By this shall people

know you are my disciples

if you have love one for another.

By this shall people

know you are my disciples

if you have love one for another.

I will weep when you are weeping;

when you laugh I’ll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow
till we’ve seen this journey through.

 

When we sing to God in heaven
we shall find such harmony,
born of all we’ve known together
of Christ’s love and agony.

 

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

Words Richard A. M. Gillard, (b. 1977)

There behold his agony,
suffered on the bitter tree;
see his anguish, see his faith,
love triumphant still in death.

 

Then to life I turn again,
learning all the worth of pain,
learning all the might that lies
in a full self-sacrifice.


John Reynell Wreford (1800-1891)
 

They rise and needs will have
my dear Lord made away;
a murderer they save,
the Prince of life they slay.
Yet cheerful he
to suffering goes,
that he his foes
from thence might free.

Here might I stay and sing,
no story so divine;
never was love, dear King,
never was grief like thine.
This is my friend,
in whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.


Samuel Crossman (1623-1683)

Click here for: My song is love unknown

DURING THE CORONA VIRUS OUTBREAK . . .

. . . we are currently emailing worship material to those who are on our mailing list, or who request it.

This is in the form of pdf documents with images, scripture passages, hymn and song words, with links to youtube clips,  meditations activities and other resources.

To request to join the email list, please contact bunyanmeeting@gmail.com, and we will get back to you.

As we develop further resources, these will be posted on this page.

Switch to Forthcoming events, to find out other ways of engaging, learning, keeping in touch.

 

More resources and information are also available by liking Bunyan Meeting Church on Facebook.

We pray that all who join our worship, or activities at this time may be richly blessed.

 

 A busy, town centre Christian Church affiliated to the Congregational Federation and the Baptist Union of Great Britain

and home to the John Bunyan Museum & Library, and the Basement at Bunyan Gallery

 

Minister - Reverend Chris Damp MA, BD

Reg. Charity No: 248195 

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