Maundy Thursday has two main story lines. One comes from the synoptic tradition (Matthew, Mark and Luke who all see the story of Jesus in fairly similar ways) and the other from John’s gospel.
- In the synoptic gospels the focus is on Jesus having one last supper with his disciples. It is here that he celebrates the Passover meal and refocuses the meal to be a celebration of what God is doing through him. It is from this time with the disciples that we get the sacrament of communion.
- In John’s gospel, the focus is on a longer time of teaching. The meal is only alluded to and there is nothing focusing on what we know today as communion. Jesus gathers his disciples and after washing their feet (an object lesson to remind them one last time of their call to be servants first) he spends an extended time teaching them one final time. The farewell discourse is about preparing them to continue his work after he is gone.
Of course, both stories eventually lead to the same place. Jesus goes out to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and is then arrested and brought before the authorities. The die is cast – Jesus will soon be crucified. That, of course, is for tomorrow. We’ll continue our journey to the cross again tomorrow when Good Friday arrives,
Maundy Thursday Worship – 6:30 PM:
An “Agape Meal” of soup, bread, cheese, fruit and olives will begin upstairs in the overflow space at 6:30 PM with Holy Communion included as part of our dinner. “Agape” (pronounced ah–gap-eh) is the Greek word for “unselfish love.” After the meal, which will be in the overflow space, we will process into the sanctuary for the reading of Psalm 22 and the stripping of the altar.