Old Testament Reading………………………………………………………………….........................................Exodus 12:1–14
L When the Israelites were captive in Egypt, God instructed them to put lamb’s blood on their doorposts as a visible sign for the angel of death to pass over them. So that they would always remember that night, they were to observe the Passover Seder, a meal prepared and eaten as God directed them.
The Old Testament Reading for Holy Thursday is from the 12th chapter of Exodus.
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. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 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. 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. 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.
“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.”
L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
P On Ash Wednesday, there were physical signs of our penitence, visible in the mirror and to everyone we met. The ashes were placed on each of our individual foreheads. Soon, many of us will be receiving our Lord’s body and blood, somehow in, with, and under the bread and wine—certainly more than our physical eyes can perceive. But we cannot commune with our Lord so intimately, sinners that we are; penitence is not enough. We need God’s forgiveness, assured thereby that God’s Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ, has staved off the death sentence our sins deserve as surely as the Seder lamb’s blood told the angel of death to pass over the Israelite homes so long ago.
Let us therefore confess our sins to our heavenly Father, imploring Him for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ, to grant us forgiveness.
Passion Reading……………………………………………………………........................................................Mark 14:22–25
P Today, our worship begins with the Passion reading and the sermon so that the liturgy may then move uninterrupted from Confession and Absolution to the reception of the Lord’s Supper—and then on to tomorrow and the cross.
Jesus reveals that the disciples are receiving more than bread and wine at the Passover on the night in which He was betrayed.
The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Mark, the 14th chapter.
As they were eating, [Jesus] took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is My body.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
Prayer of the Church
P Let us pray for the Church around the world, ourselves, and all people in their various needs.
The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season. Psalm 145:15
For farmers and ranchers and those who bring food to market, that God would provide favorable weather, bountiful harvests, and relief from both drought and flood, let us pray to the Lord.
C Look on them all in Your mercy, heavenly Father.
P My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He will pluck my feet out of the net. Psalm 25:15
For all who struggle with unemployment or underemployment, with poor living conditions or displacement from home, with personal demons or ill health, let us pray to the Lord.
C Behold their turmoil, Lord Jesus, and grant them relief and hope.
P His lightings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. Psalm 97:4
For all people in authority over communities and countries, all whose decisions affect the climate of the planet and the health of its inhabitants, and all who are charged to maintain justice within their borders and peace among nations, let us pray to the Lord.
C Gaze upon Your servants, O Lord; protect and guide them that they may serve with wisdom, compassion, and courage.
P I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD. Psalm 121:1–2a
For all who serve the Lord as they care for others—medical personnel and first responders, counselors and advisers, friends and neighbors, professionals and volunteers—let us pray to the Lord.
C Observe how they use the gifts You have given them, O Holy Spirit, and open doors of opportunity for them so that many may rejoice together.
P Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 17:8
For the Church around the world, as clergy and lay leaders seek to proclaim the Gospel and faithfully endeavor to share their faith, especially in the face of persecution, let us pray to the Lord.
C See their struggle, O Holy Spirit, and give them strength to persevere and grow.
P Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8
For the Church, wherever it gathers around Word and Sacrament, relying on God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, and looking forward to the fulfillment of all His gracious promises, let us pray to the Lord.
C Watch over Your Church, Lord Jesus; protect and defend us until that day we see You face to face.
P Into Your hands, heavenly Father, we commend ourselves and all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Peace of the Lord
P The peace of the Lord be with you all.
C And also with you.
P We share the peace of the Lord with one another, saying, “Peace be with you.”
Hymn#446 “Jesus, Greatest at the Table”
C I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life + of the world to come. Amen.
As you have probably heard the current restrictions on public meetings has been extended to at least April 30th. We will continue to meet using Zoom. Our website will continue to be available as well. Our service tonight will not end with the traditional stripping of the Altar. Tonight our service will end with the Lord's Prayer.
Those desiring individual Absolution come forward as directed. As he places his hands on the penitent’s head, the pastor announces, “In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The penitent responds, “Amen.”
Silence is kept as the Absolution is bestowed. Those in their seats may meditate on Psalm 25 in the hymnal.
P Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Go in + peace. 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24
Psalm Psalm 22:1–31
My God, my God, why have you for- | saken me?*
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my | groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not | answer,*
and by night, but I | find no rest.
Yet you are | holy,*
enthroned on the praises of | Israel.
In you our fathers | trusted;*
they trusted, and you de- | livered them.
To you they cried and were | rescued;*
in you they trusted and were not | put to shame.
But I am a worm and | not a man,*
scorned by mankind and despised by the | people.
All who see me | mock me;*
they make mouths at me; they | wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let him de- | liver him;*
let him rescue him, for he de- | lights in him!”
Yet you are he who took me | from the womb;*
you made me trust you at my | mother’s breasts.
On you was I cast | from my birth,*
and from my mother’s womb you have | been my God.
Be not far from me,
for trouble | is near,*
and there is | none to help.
Many bulls en- | compass me;*
strong bulls of Bashan sur- | round me;
they open wide their | mouths at me,*
like a ravening and roaring | lion.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are | out of joint;*
my heart is like wax;
it is melted with- | in my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks | to my jaws;*
you lay me in the | dust of death.
For dogs en- | compass me;*
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my | hands and feet—
I can count | all my bones—*
they stare and gloat | over me;
they divide my garments a- | mong them,*
and for my clothing they | cast lots.
But you, O Lord, do not be | far off!*
O you my help, come quickly | to my aid!
Deliver my soul | from the sword,*
my precious life from the power | of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the | lion!*
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild | oxen!
I will tell of your name to my | brothers;*
in the midst of the congregation I will | praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glo- | rify him,*
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of | Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his | face from him,*
but has heard, when he | cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congre- | gation;*
my vows I will perform before those who | fear him.
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall | praise the Lord!*
May your hearts live for- | ever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn | to the Lord,*
and all the families of the nations
shall worship be- | fore you.
For kingship belongs | to the Lord,*
and he rules over the | nations.
All the prosperous of the earth eat and | worship;*
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep him- | self alive.
Posterity shall | serve him;*
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming gener- | ation;
they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people | yet unborn,*
that he has | done it.
Let Us Pray
C Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen.
Please observe silence while leaving.
Hymn#620 “Jesus Comes Today with Healing”
A In peace let us pray to the Lord.
C Lord, have mercy.
A For the peace from above and for our salvation, visible in the Lord’s Supper, let us pray to the Lord.
C Lord, have mercy.
A For peace the whole world may see, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all who see in Christ their Savior, let us pray to the Lord.
C Lord, have mercy
A For this holy house and for all who show here their faith in worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord.
C Lord, have mercy.
A Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
P Having loved His own who were in the world,
C He loved them to the end.
Holy Gospel………………………………………………………………………………...............................John 13:1–15, 34–35
P As He washes their feet, Jesus opens the disciples’ eyes to what true servanthood means.
The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the 13th chapter.
C Glory to You, O Lord.
P Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him,
C Lord, do You wash my feet?
P Jesus answered him,
A What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.
C You shall never wash my feet.
A If I do not wash you, you have no share with Me.
C Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!
A The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.
P For He knew who was to betray Him; that was why He said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When He had washed their feet and put on His outer garments and resumed His place, He said to them,
A “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. . . .
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. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
P This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C Praise to You, O Christ.
Eyes on Jesus: More Than Meets the Eye
As We Gather
This Lent, we have been using the metaphor of eyesight to examine how the various people in Mark’s Gospel viewed Jesus during His Passion. In most cases, they misunderstood who He was and what He was doing; then again, sometimes by faith people did recognize Him correctly.
As we conclude these forty days of Lent, looking within ourselves as people of faith in our day, we again ask how we are like or unlike the people who saw Jesus in the flesh. Most important, as we gather for worship, we see again what Jesus has done to save us from our sins by His holy, precious blood and innocent suffering and death.
It is difficult for us to look through the eyes of the disciples when they were celebrating Passover, but it was within that context that Jesus pronounced the bread and wine to be His body and blood. Today, it is within the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper that our Lord’s words call us to recognize more than meets our physical eyes. What do we perceive?
P The Lord’s Supper is a mystery, for the reality of it cannot be seen with human eyes. As in stanza 4 of the hymn we are about to sing, “Faith alone the true heart waketh To behold the mystery”. We sing hymn 630.
C O almighty God, merciful Father, I, by nature sinful and unclean, confess to You that I have failed to see You present in my daily living. In addition to my faults that are visible to the people around me, You know my secret thoughts, my whispered words, and my furtive actions. For these and other sins I have hidden even from myself I am heartily sorry. I repent of them and pray that You will show me mercy for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter suffering and death of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
P God be merciful to you and strengthen your faith.
P Do you believe that the forgiveness I speak is not my forgiveness but God’s?
P Let it be done for you as you
Hymn# “Our Eyes Behold the Savior’s Face”
1 Our eyes behold the Savior’s face
And yet cannot perceive
That His perspective held our grace
Before we could believe.
2 Our focus flits and fails to see
The One whose steadfast gaze
Propelled Him to the darkened tree
Enveloped in death’s haze.
3 Our sights train on the dreadful cross.
Beneath His knowing eyes,
Our sins are bare and set for loss;
He sees us as His prize.
4 Our vision blurs with anxious tears
As Jesus’ eyelids fall
To conquer sin and all our fears
And tear in two our pall.
5 Our view scans for the coming Day
That evermore grows near,
When Jesus wipes our tears away
And all is crystal clear.
Text: Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission
Epistle………………………………………………………………………………….................................1 Corinthians 11:23–32
L Paul reminds us that in the Sacrament we are visibly proclaiming what onlookers miss: the Lord’s death, His body and blood, until He returns.
The Epistle is from the 11th chapter of First Corinthians.
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
Gradual Hebrews 9:12a, c, 15a; Psalm 111:9a
L [Christ] entered once for all into the holy places, by means of His own blood,
C thus securing an eternal redemption.
L Therefore, He is the mediator of a new covenant,
C so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.
L He sent redemption to His people;
C He has commanded His covenant forever.
P In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.