Early Christians were known as people of the Way, for like a journey, Christian discipleship yields new and occasionally unexpected encounters around the next corner. This Maundy Thursday our worship service highlights seven stations along the Way.
Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6 (NRSV)
A typical journey of faith starts with a call to use one’s unique talents to further the Kingdom of Heaven. Diversions from the Way often provide “teachable moments” that ultimately strengthen our faith and help us reach out to others along the Way with acts of mercy, quiet prayer, and sharing of our talents and assets. Some stops need a community of faith to celebrate, for example: sharing the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Others, such as facing the Cross of Christ, can only be faced alone, even when in the midst of supportive friends.
Safe at Home practices fit well with contemplation and reflection. You may read through each of the stations below on a mobile device or print out this PDF version .
Robert Shaw, Pastor
Before you begin you may wish to gather the following items.
- Paper and a pen
- Pitcher of water, a basin, and a towel
- Prayer requests from a recent newsletter
- An envelope
- A piece of bread and a cup
1st Station — Vocation
Today the word “vocation” is linked with a career or at least employment. But “vocation” comes from a Latin word meaning “to call or summon.” Thus its original sense is what is God calling you to do?
Then Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.– Luke 5:10b-11
Jot word or two telling how God has/will use your talents to advance the Kingdom of Heaven?
2nd Station — Confession
In the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice: “Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him saying: “Be silent, and come out of him!”– Luke 4:33-35
What do you need Jesus to call from you?
An onion represents the way our sin smells to God.
A chain represents how our sin binds us from enjoying life.
The broken heart represents dry and broken relationships.
Touch each image taking a moment for silent reflection …
3rd Station — Baptism
Ideally another person would greet you from behind a corner holding a pitcher of water and a towel. They would say to you:
Draw near to God with sincerity of heart and full assurance of faith, that our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and our bodies are washed with pure water.
Hold your hands over a basin while saying:
God have mercy on me, a sinner.Luke 18:13
While you speak, the first person pours water over your hands, cleansing them from the scent of the onion, the rust from the chain, and moist tears to your heart. Then you say together:
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Alleluia, Amen!
Ideally you would remain while the other person continues along the Way, for eventually someone will follow you and need you to wash their hands.
4th Station — Prayer
Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.Luke 6:12
Read prayer requests of those who have come ahead of you.
Add one or two of your own. Close with the Lord’s Prayer.
Father, hallowed be your name.Luke 11:2-4 (NRSV)
Your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.
5th Station — Giving
Thanks to your generous gifts, ministry continues at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church. In these unusual times, please make your offerings through automated payments as you might pay any bill through your bank or with the button near the top right of of this page.
Checks by mail are also greatly appreciated.
Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NRSV)
How is your charitable giving an expression of thanks for the abundance that God provides?
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Blessed are you, God of all creation; through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and for the service of your kingdom. Amen.
6th Station — Lord’s Supper
Maundy comes from the Latin word meaning “mandate.” On a Thursday evening Jesus instructed his followers:
Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.Luke 22:17-20 (NRSV)
Hold the bread and the cup in your hands and silently give thanks that Christ chose to give us a tangible reminder of his love for us and desire for us to be one in him as he is one in each of us. Set these aside for the next time that we celebrate the Lord’s supper together.
7th Station — The Cross
When they came to the place of that is called the place of The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said: “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”Luke 23:33-34
What note will you leave behind for those who will follow you?
Use the comments below to record what you experienced in these seven stations.
Presbytery of Tampa Bay
Maundy Thursday Worship Service
This worship service will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube at 7 PM Thursday, April 9th and available later for replay.
Before the service you’re invited to light a candle if you choose; to set out your elements for communion if you choose to participate; to have your Bible available if you like to read along.
For the Lord’s Supper, you need only use what is already in your home; there is no need to leave your home for specific elements. This meal is sacred because it unites us across time and space, not because of anything inherent in the elements themselves. Our tradition reminds us that the elements we use for communion are to be common and easily accessible to the community; in this challenging season, the words in the Directory for Worship that “the bread and cup are shared in the manner most appropriate to the occasion” take on new layers of meaning, and we recognize that being able to share common elements in this particular time is both a memory and a hope, even if not a present reality. But, we can still share this meal.
We look forward to gathering with you at this most holy time.
Look for the this worship service at 7 PM on Thursday, April 9, 2020 until Sunday, April 12 at https://www.facebook.com/PresbyteryOfTampaBay/ or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_kBW67yziu45eNLQdOjY8w/featured