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Maundy Thursday

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they had sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?” And he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the household, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover. And when it was evening he came with the twelve. (Mark 14:12-17)

Additional Daily Bible Readings: Exodus 24:3–11; Psalm 116; 1 Corinthians 10:16–17; Mark 14:12–26

Weekly Reading: http://bit.ly/2kNMlfU

We have already given some time during Lent to the institution of the Lord’s Supper as found in Matthew’s Gospel. If you are able to gather with the community of faith for Maundy Thursday service, you will hear from Mark or John at worship.

As a pastor, I appreciate every Sunday we meet at the table where the Lord is host, there to feed us with his presence in, with and under the forms of bread and wine. Each Sunday is particularly meaningful, as it is on the day of resurrection: The Lord’s Day where we gather for Word and Sacrament. Did you know that our Lutheran confessions state that we Lutherans celebrate “the mass,” the Lord’s Supper on every Lord’s Day and on special occasions during the week, and with great devotion? Luther and Lutherans have always understood the Sunday service to be both the Word and the Lord’s Supper, as we receive God incarnate in Jesus’ real presence.

Maundy Thursday is an exceptionally appropriate time for the Lord’s Supper and is an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Is it the evening hour? Is it the waning evening light? Is it the entire Holy Week cycle of services? Is it the reading of the account of Jesus and the disciples gathered in the upper room? I can’t explain it, but I know that there are few more meaningful services for me than the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.

Is it the same for you? I hope and pray this is the case. I hope and pray that you are physically able to gather around the altar of the Lord for Holy Communion this evening, to receive “the Body of Christ, given for you; the Blood of Christ, shed for you.” If you are unable to attend worship, know that you are still connected with the fellowship of the saints, bound in a “holy-communion” that transcends space and time and earthly limitations.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, let all mortal flesh keep silent this night, and with fear and trembling kneel in your incarnate presence in your Holy Supper. Amen.

Holy Week Response: Let every meal time be a time of welcoming Jesus to your table, receiving his presence with you, a reminder of his power and presence at the Lord’s Supper.

Video Devotional: From Ashes to Easter

Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.


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