Love Feast

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
Maundy Thursday
March 20, 2008            7:00pm

The Work of Jesus

Quiet Meditation       (You might read Exodus 12:1-14, prayerfully pondering
                                   the role of Christ as the lamb of God. You might also
                                   meditate upon Psalm 116, especially verses 12-19.
                                   Take time review the Litany of Remembrance on the
                                   back of the bulletin.)


Litany of Remembrance                                             ( see back of the bulletin)

Hymn                                        "Man of sorrows"                                     258
                   (Take your hymnal and move to the Feetwashing Circles)


Scripture                                      John 13:1-17

Spoken Meditation

Prayer (Adapts 783)

Feetwashing                                                               (Hymns sung as needed)
             "When I survey the wondrous cross"                           259
             "Will you let me be your servant" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307
             "Have thine own way"                                                 504
             "When peace, like a river" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
             "Lord, I want to be a Christian"                                   444


Scripture                                  Matthew 6:25-33

Spoken Meditation

Unison Prayer



Scripture                              1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Spoken Meditation

Song                        “God and Man at Table are Sat Down”            (see insert)
                                                   (read the lyrics, listen to the music)


         (in quiet, all simply repeat the below lines, one at a time, and partake after each)

“The bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ”
“This cup of the New Testament is the communion of the blood of Christ”

Hymn                                  "Great is thy faithfulness"                                 327


Continuing the Work of Jesus

You are invited to stay and help clean up from our meal.
Thanks to all who prepared the meal, read scripture,
led or accompanied singing, babysat,
or otherwise made this special meal possible.

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

A Litany of Remembrance

One: We gather on a day that is different from all other days. As Jesus and his disciples gathered to celebrate the Passover meal, they remembered the Exodus of the Hebrew slaves from captivity in Egypt. We remember our being set free in the life and teachings, the death and resurrection of Jesus.

All: This is a day of remembrance.
One: This is the day we remember Jesus, our Lord, kneeling before his disciples, washing the dust and dirt from their feet. Jesus calls us to present our feet and lives to be washed by another who embodies God's love for us.

All: This is a day of remembrance.

One: This is the day we remember Jesus, our Teacher, challenging his disciples to follow his example. Jesus calls us to kneel and serve those whose feet or lives are covered with dust and dirt.

All: This is a day of remembrance.

One: This is the day we remember Jesus, the Lamb of God, giving up his earthly life that we may embrace eternal life. Jesus calls us to the table to remember the power of love to transform death to life.

All: This is a day of remembrance.

by Lisa Hazen, pastor
Wichita First Church of the Brethren Wichita, Kansas
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Spoken Meditation
(on feetwashing)

“Would that you knew the things that make for peace,” Jesus sadly spoke as he looked from a distance at Jerusalem. What are the things that make for peace, my friends? Is peace something given or taken? Is it received or achieved? When Jesus bent down to wash the feet of his disciples, that act fit his mission. He had come, like a washerwoman, to cleanse the world of its sin. Remember his beginning statement, taken from Isaiah, fulfilled in him (he said):
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)

Jesus came to give. His very life was a gift from God. Bending to wash Peter’s feet was a gift to be received. Peter could not take it, nor could he achieve it. God’s peace is like that. Just sit and receive. That’s not easy to do, is it? I often think that is the most disturbing aspect of feetwashing for people new to it. The same is true for God’s peace. We don’t so much construct peace as we remove obstacles to it. Sometimes the biggest obstacle is our own pride.

Washing feet is a matter of receiving a gift, just like our salvation. We don’t earn it, we receive it. We allow the Lord to cleanse us, through the hands of another. But, then, Jesus shifts us from our seats to our knees. God’s peace does not end with us. It continues on. It is passed along. We become the hands of Christ for another. We give what we have received. It is as simple as that. Jesus calls us to do it, and we do it - here in this upper room, and then in every room of our lives. This is the way of peace.

Let’s pray.



         Lord Jesus, we kneel before each other as you once knelt before your disciples, washing another’s feet. We do what words stammer to express. Accept this gesture of peace 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 cross. Amen.

adapts Hymnal #783
copyright  1991 John D. Rempel

Spoken Meditation
(Agape Meal)

         This is not a very fancy meal which is spread before us just now. In fact, it’s missing some items that might make for a more complete diet, like vegetables - though my children might disagree with me on that. There’s a time for fancy, and a time for simple. This is one of the latter. The problem with a big meal is that the arrangements and the cuisine can take over. We can miss some of the important things. Ask any mother (run ragged around the supper table by the needs of her children) if she actually enjoyed the meal, and you know the response. “Why did I even bother?!” she may say.

         Well, even at the meals where things go right, we can lose track of what’s really real. The “Martha” in us all (a good trait, mind you - not to be disparaged) can get in the way, constantly thinking of what comes next. I confess to you that I struggle with that even here at Love Feast (big surprise, right?). I find myself not fully here because I’m trying to think two steps ahead. What happens next? What will I say?

         I wonder if Jesus had the same problem in the upper room. He knew what lay ahead. The disciples seemed oblivious to it all. They were just enjoying the moment, probably puzzled by all the inferences Jesus was making to the road just around the next bend. As I read the text, however, I see Jesus fully there with his followers. Perhaps it was because it was just that simple. No, I don’t mean simplistic. I mean focused on what is most important.

         What is most important as we eat together around these tables? When was the last time you told the persons your sitting with how much you have appreciated them, even though you have, perhaps, not seen eye to eye on everything? You care deeply about these persons, don’t you? How do you say that, though, without sounding silly? So, we talk about the weather, or the ball game, or...

         My encouragement, as we fellowship together, amid the small talk, that somehow we not lose track of the bigger picture. Jesus has pulled together this cast of characters, a collection as full of ornery cuss’s as that original band of disciples. And yet, “see how they love one another.” Amazing, isn’t it? Let’s not lose that sense of amazing grace as we eat and talk together.

Shall we pray?

Unison Prayer

Bless, O Lord, this food,
         may it sustain our body.
Bless, O Lord, this time,
         may it help us seek first your kingdom.
Bless, O Lord, these persons around us,
         may they know how much we care for them.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Spoken Meditation

         A favorite hymn of many is the one in which we sing, “I come to the garden alone.” The words of this song reveal a depth of intimacy between each of us and our Lord which is only possible because of what Jesus did upon the cross. The “garden” image reminds us of both Eden and Gethsemane. In the first garden, there was a wonder-filled sense of “togetherness,” of communion, between God and his creation, including Adam and Eve. But the reality of sin broke it all apart. Life after Eden was marked by separation, isolation, and alienation.

         The second garden, the garden of Gethsemane, speaks to us of both the misery and the mystery of Jesus’ last moments of freedom before his arrest and eventual crucifixion. From this garden, however, a shift of direction took place. Yes, Jesus went through his own time of separation, isolation, and alienation, but there was a purpose to it all. His actions were leading toward God, not away. He paved the road toward communion, toward “togetherness” once again between God and humanity.

         The meal Jesus ate with his disciples in the upper room, before they went out to Gethsemane, was a foretaste of this “togetherness,” this communion with God that the following days would make possible. The bread and the cup themselves speak to us today of both the misery and the mystery of his death. We remember what he did for us. But our remembering is not in the past tense. We are remembering ahead, strange as that may sound. The day is coming when when all the barriers that keep us apart from God and each other will be completely broken down, especially the barrier of death. His death and resurrection has already accomplished this. The rest is just a matter of time, God’s time.

         For now, we do not really come to the garden alone. Even when no one else is around, we are in the very presence of the Lord. “Alone” for us takes on new meaning. In solitude, even, we discover ourselves “at one” with God. And when we sit around the table in his presence, the sense of togetherness we have is far greater than the number of us gathered here. When we are gathered in Jesus’ name, one plus one equals far more than two. He is with us in Spirit. Furthermore, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, a heavenly host. On the other hand, when we are gathered in his name, though we are many, we are “one” - different, yet together in Christ. We are brought together to sit at table with the living God.

         I love the next song, though I have not used it much. Maybe it’s the grammar of the last two phrases, or the fact that I prefer to use non-sexist terms where possible. Even so, it is a marvelous song of togetherness around the Lord’s table. May we move past the incomplete nature of the words and just come into the presence of the Lord as we sing. It’s a quick learn. As soon as you catch the tune, please join in.

“God and Man at Table are Sat Down”
(read the lyrics, listen to the music)



         Living God, how awesome it is to sit “at table” with you. Thank you for making such togetherness possible through the work of your Son Jesus, our Christ. Bless this bread, as a reminder of his body which was broken for our sake. Bless the fruit of the vine in this cup, as a reminder of his blood which was shed for our sake. As we eat and drink, help us to glimpse your heavenly banquet table at which, one day, your children will share your great feast of love. For now, Lord, help us to know that this is the feast of victory for our God, for the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign. Alleluia. Amen.


Brothers and sisters in Christ,
         Go and continue the work of Jesus -
                  Peacefully, Simply, Together.

(this quotes the by-line of the Church of the Brethren)

(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)


To learn more about Love Feast, click here.


©2000, revised 2008 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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