Easter Devotional
Maundy Thursday

Optional Additional Reading: "Suffering & Submission in Gethsemane" by Nancy Guthrie (Suffering & Glory book - available at Sunday worship service)

Welcome & Introduction

Welcome to our Maundy Thursday worship service. The Thursday of Holy Week is a remembrance of Jesus’s celebration of the Passover meal with his disciples. Unbeknownst to his disciples, later that evening Jesus would be arrested and on the next day crucified. At this meal Jesus calls his disciples to love one another even as he has loved them—his holy mandate to the church. Would you join with us as we allow God’s Word to call us to him in worship?

Call to Worship

Psalm 133 (ESV)
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll to full text version below)
LEADER: Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!

PEOPLE: It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!


LEADER: It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!

ALL: For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.
Option 2: Read the Full Text

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.

Opening Prayer

Open in prayer and/or use the suggested prayer below.

“Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before He suffered, commanded His people to love one another even as He loved us. Help us by your Holy Spirit to live in His love, so that we might be strengthened to fulfill His command. We love, because we are so loved by your dear Son; who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Opening Reading

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-17 – A Praise Song of the Lord Jesus
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll to the full text version below)
Leader’s Statement of Context: “God seeks us and saves us by His Word—most fully through His Living Word, Jesus Christ, who prayed these Psalms in their fullness. Jesus came for us, and fully identified with us. Let us read His Word together.”

LEADER: I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.

PEOPLE: Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.


LEADER: What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?

PEOPLE: I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,


LEADER: I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

PEOPLE: Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.


LEADER: O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.

ALL: I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
Option 2: Read the Full Text
Statement of Context: God seeks us and saves us by His Word—most fully through His Living Word, Jesus Christ, who prayed these Psalms in their fullness. Jesus came for us, and fully identified with us.

I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.

Read & Reflect

  • Read Exodus 12:1-15 and John 13:12-17, 34-35 and spend 5-10 minutes sharing what you learned from this passage. Perhaps each person can point out one verse that was particularly meaningful to them.
  • Alternate Option: Perhaps for those with small children, read the story of “God to the Rescue!” (pp. 84-91) from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

Exodus 12 (ESV)

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.

John 13:12-17, 34-35 (ESV)

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them...

34 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. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Song

Sing or meditate on the words of this song.
HIS MERCY IS MORE
(Matt Papa, Matt Boswell)
What love could remember no wrongs we have done?
Omniscient, all knowing, he counts not their sum.
Thrown into a sea without bottom or shore.
Our sins, they are many, his mercy is more.

 What patience would wait as we constantly roam?
What father, so tender, is calling us home?
He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor.
Our sins they are many, his mercy is more.

CHORUS:
Praise the Lord, His mercy is more.
Stronger than darkness, new every morn.
Our sins they are many, his mercy is more.

 What riches of kindness he lavished on us.
His blood was the payment, his life was the cost.
We stood ‘neath a debt we could never afford.
Our sins, they are many, his mercy is more.
(CHORUS)
©2016 Messenger Hymns (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) CCLI #1791178

Closing Reading

1 John 3:1 and 4:7-12 (ESV)
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll to the full text version below)
LEADER: See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

PEOPLE: Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

LEADER: In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

PEOPLE: Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

LEADER: No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides among us and his love reaches it perfect fullness in us.

PEOPLE: Amen.

Option 2: Read the Full Text

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides among us and his love reaches it perfect fullness in us. Amen.

Closing Prayer

Thank God and close your time in prayer.