Gathering Music for Reflection
WORDS OF INSTRUCTION
In this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to intensify our struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that keeps us from loving God and each other. This is the struggle to which we were committed at Baptism; God’s forgiveness and the power of his Spirit to amend our lives continue with us because of his love for us in Jesus, our Savior.
Within the community of his Church, God never wearies of giving peace and new life. In the words of absolution we receive forgiveness as from God himself. This absolution we should not doubt, but firmly believe that thereby our sins are forgiven before God in heaven, for it comes to us in the name and by the command of our Lord.
We who receive God’s love in Jesus Christ are called to love one another, to be servants to each other as Jesus became our servant.
It is, however, in the Holy Communion that the members of Christ’s body participate most intimately in his love. When we can come together, we remember our Lord’s last supper with his disciples, and we eat the bread and share the cup of this meal. We receive the Lord’s gift of himself and participate in that new covenant which makes us one in him. The Eucharist is the promise of the great banquet we will share with all the faithful when our Lord returns, the culmination of our reconciliation with God and each other.
THE CONFESSION OF SIN AND PERSONAL ABSOLUTION:
P: Beloved in the Lord: let us draw near with a true heart, and confess our sins to God our Father, imploring him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.
Silence for reflection and self-examination.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord,
C: who made heaven and earth.
P: I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,
C: and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
P: Almighty God, merciful Father:
I, a troubled and penitent sinner, confess to you all my sins and iniquities with which I have offended you and for which I justly deserve your punishment. But I am sorry for them, and repent of them, and pray for your boundless mercy. For the sake of the suffering and death of your Son, Jesus Christ, be gracious and merciful to me, a poor sinful being; forgive my sins, give me your Holy Spirit for the amendment of my sinful life, and bring me to life everlasting. Amen.
Almighty God in his mercy has given his Son to die for us and, for his sake, forgives us all our sins. Through his Holy Spirit he cleanses us and gives us power to proclaim the mighty deeds of God who called us out of darkness into the splendor of his light. As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Place your hands on the head of a person with you. Trace the sign of the cross on that one’s forehead, or your own if alone, as the minister says the following:
In obedience to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins.
THE PRAYER OF THE DAY
P: Let us pray. Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
THE FIRST LESSON – Exodus 12:1-14
The Passover of the Lord
1The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
THE PSALMODY – Psalm 116: 1-2, 12-19
I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
12 What shall I render to the Lord
for all his bounty to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am thy servant;
I am thy servant, the son of thy handmaid.
Thou hast loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
THE SECOND LESSON – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The last supper
23For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
REFLECTION – Pastor Leslie
SONG Chief of Sinners though I Be LBW #306
THE NICENE CREED
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
with the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified,
he has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
Let us join together in prayer for the church, the world, and all in need.
(A brief silence)
Blessed are you, O God, for the church. Bring all people into your fellowship of love. Make us worthy to share your food. Pass us over from death into life. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Blessed are you for this good earth. Protect the waters from pollution. Bless the growing crops with your rain and sun. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Blessed are you for our nation. Inspire us and all nations to live in peace and concord. Free those who are enslaved by injustice. Be with our President, Donald J. Trump; our Congress; those serving in our armed forces; and those public servants who work to protect us and keep us safe, that they may all be guided by you and your desire for justice and peace. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Blessed are you for this table. We pray for the hungry, those in need, the sick (especially), and for those alienated from you. Answer their cries. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Blessed are you for our community of faith. Form us into servants for our neighborhood. Give us your spirit of service. Guide the work of our congregations and our Councils. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Blessed are you for all believers who have gone before us. Bring us all at the end into your everlasting glory. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Receive, O loving God, our prayers, and grant that we and all people may know the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew, the 26th Chapter
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
The Passover with the Disciples
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the passover.
20 When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples;[a] 21 and as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. 24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?”[b] He said to him, “You have said so.”
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Peter’s Denial Foretold
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
“Stripping of the Altar”
Meditation Song What Wondrous Love is This? LBW #385
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.
The service ends in silence…
From Sundays and Seasons.com © 2007 Augsburg Fortress, All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23793