Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 5, 2007
Corinthians 11:17-34 (pew Bible p. 998)
then personally pray #781 in the Hymnal,
preparing yourself to pray it together
as I am, without one plea"
Invitation and Instructions
have set you an example"
(hymns sung as needed)
I survey the wondrous cross" 259
"Will you let me be your servant"
"My Jesus, I love
thine own way"
that you may eat ... at my table"
"Marvelous grace of our loving
Listening as we eat
Luke 22:39 - 23:56
this ... in remembrance"
(see back of bulletin)
Blessing the bread and cup
"Let us break bread together"
Eating and Remembering
"Let us break bread together"
Drinking and Remembering
"Let us break bread together"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
You are invited
to stay and help clean up from our meal. Thanks to all who prepared
the meal, baked the bread, led music, read scripture, cared for
children, and otherwise made this special time possible.
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
can we discern our errors, O God?
Clear us from hidden faults.
Let the words of our mouths
and the meditations of our hearts
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, our rock and redeemer.
Look graciously on our remorse;
help us to turn from evil.
We offer you ourselves,
body and soul, to be cleansed.
As we drink the cup,
give us assurance of forgiveness
through the blood of Christ.
Accept our promise to be true to you
and give us power to fulfill it.
Let us find strength in the breaking of the bread
to live and to die,
for Jesus' sake. AMEN
from Johann (John) Wichert's collection of prayers, 20th c.,
based on the prayers of Jacob Janzen,
translation and adaptation ©1991 John D. Rempel.
We are gathered
this night to remember, to return to and re-enact what happened in
that upstairs guest room, and in the process to be reformed and
restored by the One who washed his disciples feet and broke bread
with them around the Passover table. I invite you to fully enter
into this time, to immerse yourself in the Bible story and make it
your own story.
As is our
practice, from here we will journey to the feetwashing circles, the
men on this side of the wall between sanctuary and fellowship hall,
the women on the other side, the separation being simply for the
sake of modesty as we wash feet. When we have finished, we’ll then
head to the tables in the other room, first sharing a simple meal,
then sharing communion. I forewarn you the agape meal portion will
be slightly different than in the past.
this evening you will need only a hymnal from the pew in front of
you and yourself. Come. "I have eagerly desired," Jesus
said, "to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I
tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of
"If I, your
Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one
another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also
should do as I have done to you." So instructed Jesus. As we
follow his example, we do so not with pride over our ability to
serve, but with humility that begins with our own need. If the
disciple Peter had a hard time allowing himself to be washed, what
makes us think we are any different? As anyone in Alcoholics
Anonymous would affirm, it begins with a simple, "Hi, I’m
Peter, and I’m a sinner." I need the cleansing, healing hands
of others. That’s what then gets me down on my knees to try to
help somebody else.
Which is harder,
giving or receiving? Depends. But Jesus calls us into the process,
the tub and the towel, and says, "do this," and the doing
of this - the receiving and the giving - does something to us. That
is, if we allow ourselves to be transformed. Oh, we can place
ourselves at a distance from all of this. We can make it a ritual
without any personal meaning, like everything else we may do in
"church." The key comes in opening ourselves to what God
can do in and through the hands of the person beside us, or even
through our own hands toward another.
I encourage you
not to put a barrier up between you and your neighbor. Don’t allow
the signing, for instance, to keep you from eye contact as feet are
washed. Let the tough and tender love of God in Christ wash over
you. Even if you must refrain from washing for medical or other
reasons, and simply observe, or if you watching because you are
still deciding when you will be ready to follow Jesus, allow the
Lord to touch you during this service - whether around these
circles, or later around his table.
After we have
finished washing feet, we’ll pray together and move on in this
evening’s journey of worship. Sisters and brothers in Christ, let’s
follow his example.
we have knelt before each other
as you once
knelt before your disciples,
washing another's feet.
We have done what words stammer to express.
Accept this gesture of love as a pledge
of how we mean to live our lives.
Bless us, as you promised,
with joy and perseverance in the way of the
©1991 John D. Rempel
during the Passover meal that Jesus got up from the table
and washed the feet of his disciples, as we have just
enacted. It was during this same meal that he spoke of the
hours ahead in terms of bread and wine, literally feeding
his disciples with symbolism they did not yet understand. In
the center of our Love Feast lies this meal. This evening,
instead of making small talk around the tables as we eat, we
will also feast on scripture.
meal is like no other. Long ago, Brethren cooked lamb for
this time in order to remember that Jesus was the Passover
lamb, sacrificed - like the lamb in the Exodus story - in
order to save God’s people. While we have since shifted
from lamb to beef, the symbolism remains. This is a simple
meal intended to help us remember. As you quietly eat, you
are encouraged to listen to the passion story as it is read
from the gospel of Luke. Save the blessed table conversation
we normally share during this time for after Love Feast is
over, when those of us able to stay will participate in the
fellowship of cleaning up.
before we eat from our bowls and from God’s Word, let’s
ask the Lord’s blessing upon this meal. Please pray with
We do not live
by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from your mouth, O
Lord. Bless this simple meal, and bless the reading of your Word.
May the fellowship of quiet reflection around these tables empower
our remembrance of your passion, O Christ, that your continuing work
become our passion. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
as we eat
Luke 22:39 - 23:56
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
He came out
and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the
disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to
them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’
Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down,
and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from
me; yet, not my will but yours be done.’ Then an angel from
heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he
prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of
blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he
came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief,
and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that
you may not come into the time of trial.’
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
While he was
still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas,
one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss
him; but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, is it with a kiss that you
are betraying the Son of Man?’ When those who were around him
saw what was coming, they asked, ‘Lord, should we strike with
the sword?’ Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest
and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, ‘No more of this!’
And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the
chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders
who had come for him, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs
as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the
temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and
the power of darkness!’
Peter Denies Jesus
seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s
house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had
kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down
together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in
the firelight, stared at him and said, ‘This man also was with
him.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’
A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, ‘You also are
one of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!’ Then about an
hour later yet another kept insisting, ‘Surely this man also was
with him; for he is a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I do
not know what you are talking about!’ At that moment, while he
was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at
Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said
to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three
times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.
The Mocking and Beating of Jesus
Now the men
who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also
blindfolded him and kept asking him, ‘Prophesy! Who is it that
struck you?’ They kept heaping many other insults on him.
Jesus before the Council
When day came,
the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and
scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council.
They said, ‘If you are the Messiah, tell us.’ He replied, ‘If
I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will
not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the
right hand of the power of God.’ All of them asked, ‘Are you,
then, the Son of God?’ He said to them, ‘You say that I am.’
Then they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? We have
heard it ourselves from his own lips!’
Jesus before Pilate
assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They
began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this man perverting our
nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that
he himself is the Messiah, a king.’ Then Pilate asked him, ‘Are
you the king of the Jews?’ He answered, ‘You say so.’ Then
Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no
basis for an accusation against this man.’ But they were
insistent and said, ‘He stirs up the people by teaching
throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this
Jesus before Herod
heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he
learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off
to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod
saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him
for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to
see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but
Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood
by, vehemently accusing him. Even Herod with his soldiers treated
him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on
him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate
became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.
Jesus Sentenced to Death
called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people,
and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was
perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your
presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges
against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us.
Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore
have him flogged and release him.’
Then they all
shouted out together, ‘Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas
for us!’ (This was a man who had been put in prison for an
insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)
Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they
kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’ A third time he said to
them, ‘Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground
for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and
then release him.’ But they kept urgently demanding with loud
shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So
Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He
released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in
prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as
The Crucifixion of Jesus
As they led
him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from
the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it
behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among
them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for
him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem,
do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
For the days are surely coming when they will say, "Blessed
are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts
that never nursed." Then they will begin to say to the
mountains, "Fall on us"; and to the hills, "Cover
us." For if they do this when the wood is green, what will
happen when it is dry?’
also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with
him. When they came to the place that is called 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.’ And they cast lots to divide his
clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders
scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself
if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’ The soldiers also
mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If
you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ There was also an
inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
One of the
criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are
you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other
rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under
the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been
condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our
deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus,
remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly
I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’
The Death of Jesus
It was now
about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in
the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of
the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice,
said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Having
said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had
taken place, he praised God and said, ‘Certainly this man was
innocent.’ And when all the crowds who had gathered there for
this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home,
beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the
women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance,
watching these things.
The Burial of Jesus
Now there was
a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the
council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the
Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the
kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of
Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid
it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the
day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who
had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and
how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and
On the sabbath
they rested according to the commandment.
from the NRSV
One: Whenever you gather to eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
I want you to remember both my life and my death. Will you do
All: Yes, Lord, we will do this.
One: Remember how I have come to you, come as one of you, born
of a woman. Remember my helpless, newborn body. Will you remember?
All: Yes, Lord, we will do this.
One: Remember me as an adolescent boy, full of energy and
questions, ready and willing to learn my Father s business. Will
All: Yes, Lord, we will do this.
One: Remember my work as a humble laborer. Remember the
simplicity of my baptism in the Jordan. Remember my tire less
ministry of healing and teaching. Will you remember?
All: Yes, Lord, we will do this.
One: Remember my humble submission to death on a cross. I did
all this for love of you. Will you remember?
All: Yes, we receive this Bread and Cup with thanksgiving
for both your life and your death, dear Lord of Love.
- by Tilman R. and Nancy Kettering
Frye Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Church of the Brethren Living Word
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word
the bread and cup
Before I give
thanks for this the communion, let me share a few instructions for
what will happen physically as we break bread and drink from the
cup of Christ. This night marks the beginning of a time of
darkness in the story of our salvation. We have heard the Word
spoken, how after this meal we are enacting, Jesus and his
disciples stepped out of the warmth of the upper room into the
chill of night, walking to the garden of Gethsemane. Prayer there
all-too-quickly shifted to the seeming madness of his arrest,
torture, trial, and execution. It was a time of darkness.
The songs we
have yet to sing are familiar, and can be sung by heart, without
the need of sight. As we sing the first verse of "Let us
break bread together," a deacon will turn off the one bank of
lights that are still lit in this room. After we break and eat the
bread, then sing the second verse, "Let us drink wine
together," those who have been scripture readers are asked to
gently blow out the candles on the tables. If a candle is missed
near you, please extinguish it. Make sure, however that you have
your hand on your communion cup, ready to partake. The only light
in this room at that time should be the Christ candle on the
center table. By only this light, after we drink from his cup, we
will sing the third verse, "Let us praise God together,"
immediately followed by the Doxology.
As part of the
Benediction, I will quench the Christ candle, and we will stand in
darkness. Remember the darkness of that night long ago, a darkness
that penetrated the souls of even those closest to Jesus. There is
darkness and despair in this world today. Some in our fellowship
have been through some very dark days since the last Maundy
Thursday we celebrated Love Feast together. The message of Easter
is for those who walk in darkness. Like all mortal flesh, the Son
of man himself died. He was crucified. That fact lies at the heart
of all our creeds. His body was broken, his blood was shed. That’s
what we are remembering in these moments. Like his friend Lazarus,
Jesus was laid in a tomb, and those closest to him walked away in
deep sadness. Good Friday, Holy Saturday - the Sabbath, and
then... But we are not at the "and then" yet. However,
without that "and then," what we are about tonight is
After a time
of silence at the end of the Benediction, Rob will begin singing a
very simple chorus, "Jesus,
remember me when you come into your kingdom," which we
will repeat as a sung prayer over and over in the dark. Join in as
you catch this simple tune. How it will end, I’m not sure. I
hope it will reside in your heart as you move on from this moment.
At a certain point, the kitchen lights will be turned on as a
reminder that life goes on and there is clean-up to be done. Other
lights will gradually be turned on. I encourage you, however, not
to quickly move into jovial fellowship. Take your time. Respect
the quiet of others as we restore this place to its other
purposes. Eventually we’ll get there, just like "on the
third day, Jesus..." Well that message is yet to be spoken
... on Sunday. Would you join me in a prayer just now that will
conclude with the prayer Jesus taught us?
|Blessed are you, God of heaven and earth.
In mercy for our fallen world you gave your only Son,
those who believe in him should not perish
We give thanks to you for the salvation
prepared for us through Jesus Christ.
Send now your Holy Spirit into our hearts,
may receive our Lord with a living faith
comes to us in his holy supper.
Our father, who art in heaven....
©1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, c/o Augsburg Fortress.
Remember also what Jesus also said (Luke 6:20-23)
are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude you, revile you,
and defame you on account of the Son of Man.
(Quench the Christ candle)
Rejoice on that day and leap for joy,
for surely your reward is great in heaven;
for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets."
"Jesus, remember me"
(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)