“Behold the Man: A God Who Loves” (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

Holy (Maundy) Thursday
April 18, 2019

“Behold the Man: A God Who Loves” (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

If Jesus’ incarnation teaches us anything about love, it’s that love is not the stuff of mere sentimentality. Love is more than warm fuzzy feelings. On the night when he was betrayed, the one who had all the power of God, who, as the song goes, “has the whole world in his hands,” used his hands to pick up a bowl of water, wrap himself in a towel, and scrub the dirt from the feet of his disciples. And then he gives them–and us–a new commandment: Love like this. Love with hands. Love with actions. Love by dying. As I have loved you.

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

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Published in: on April 18, 2019 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Love Received, Love to Give” (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

Holy Thursday
March 29, 2018

“Love Received, Love to Give” (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” Yes, Jesus did that. And he also tells his disciples: “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.” And so our message tonight is all about love: The love with which Jesus loved us, and then the love he would have us give to one another. “Love Received, Love to Give.”

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Published in: on March 29, 2018 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Catechism in Six Parts: The Sacrament of the Altar”

Holy Thursday
April 13, 2017

“The Catechism in Six Parts: The Sacrament of the Altar”

Tonight we conclude our series on “The Catechism in Six Parts.” So far in the Catechism we’ve looked at the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, and Confession. That brings us tonight to the Sacrament of the Altar–and fittingly enough, on Holy Thursday, the night in which this sacrament was instituted.

Everything we want to say about the Sacrament tonight we find in the words with which Christ institutes this holy meal. These words: “Take eat; this is my body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of me.” “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

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“Love One Another, as I Have Loved You” (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

Holy Thursday
March 24, 2016

“Love One Another, as I Have Loved You” (John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

“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.” So said Jesus to his disciples on the night when he was betrayed. “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” So says Jesus to his disciples here on this night, as we are gathered in his name and he is here with us. Thus our theme for tonight, Jesus’ commandment to his disciples both then and now: “Love One Another, as I Have Loved You.”

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Published in: on March 25, 2016 at 1:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Blood of the Covenant” (Exodus 24:3-11; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Mark 14:12-26)

Holy Thursday
April 2, 2015

“Blood of the Covenant” (Exodus 24:3-11; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Mark 14:12-26)

“Blood” and “covenant” go together in the Bible pretty much all the time. Whenever God establishes a covenant with people, generally it is sealed with blood. And tonight is no exception. In fact, tonight is the culmination of this connection between blood and covenant. It’s Holy Thursday, the night in which our Lord Jesus Christ establishes a covenant with us and says, “This is my ‘Blood of the Covenant.’”

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Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 22:1-46)

Holy Thursday
April 17, 2014

“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 22:1-46)

During this Lenten season we’ve been doing a series on the Lord’s Prayer called “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” And that’s exactly what our Lord does on this Holy Thursday evening. He teaches us to pray. That’s what he instructs us to do, that’s what he gives us an example of doing, and, even more than that, he prays for us.

In particular, on this night Jesus instructs his disciples to pray for strength in the face of temptation. “Pray that you may not enter into temptation,” Jesus tells them more than once. It was a word they needed to hear. It’s a word we need to hear, also. For we too face temptation in our life, and repeatedly so.

And so it is fitting, as we work our way through the Lord’s Prayer, that tonight we should come to the Sixth Petition, “Lead Us Not into Temptation.” So let us go now, with our Lord and his disciples–let us go to dark Gethsemane and there learn from Jesus Christ to pray.

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Published in: on April 17, 2014 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The New Covenant in My Blood” (Luke 22:7-20)

Holy Thursday
March 28, 2013

“The New Covenant in My Blood” (Luke 22:7-20)

“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” So said Jesus on this night, this night on which he was betrayed, this Holy Thursday when he instituted the Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood. “The New Covenant in My Blood”: What does Jesus mean by that? This is our theme for this evening.

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Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 9:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Why Is This Night Different?” (Exodus 12; Luke 22:7-20)

Holy Thursday
April 1, 2010

“Why Is This Night Different?” (Exodus 12; Luke 22:7-20)

Earlier this week, in Jewish homes all around the world, families gathered and celebrated the annual Passover meal. A meal is served–the Seder meal, as it is called–with certain items of food and drink served in a set order. And a ritual is observed; the liturgical text that’s followed is called the Haggadah. As part of that ritual, the children at the table ask a series of questions about why they’re doing the things distinctive to this meal: “Why is this night different from all other nights?” the children will ask. “Why are we eating this type of food? On all other nights, we may eat bread made with yeast; on this night we eat only unleavened bread. On all other nights, we may eat any kind of vegetables; on this night we eat bitter herbs. Why is this night different?” And those questions then give the head of the household, the host at the table, the opportunity to recount the history of the Passover.

Well, a long time ago, at this time of year, another group of Jews gathered and celebrated the annual Passover meal. It was a Jewish teacher and his Jewish disciples, Jesus of Nazareth and his group of twelve, who met in a room in Jerusalem and ate the Passover together. The meal is served and the ritual is observed. But in the course of that meal, toward the end, the host, Jesus, does something a little different and varies the routine from the traditional Passover. And what’s more, he institutes this new thing as a meal for his disciples to celebrate for all time to come–including for us here tonight. And so on this night, on this Holy Thursday, we must ask the question, “Why Is This Night Different?”

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Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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