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St. John's Worship Service - Maundy Thursday 2024
Pastor Wende Bleam
Pastor Wende Bleam
Thursday, March 28, 2024
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This evening our Lenten observance comes to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Tonight we remember Christ’s last meal with his disciples, but the central focus is his commandment that we live out the promise embodied in this meal. As Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, so we are called to give and receive love in humble service to one another. Formed into a new body in Christ through this holy meal, we are transformed by the mercy we have received and carry it into the world. Departing worship in solemn silence, we anticipate the coming days.


Remember to join us tomorrow at 7PM as our service continues with Good Friday 

PRELUDE        Written in Red    (Jensen)    MaryAnne Rossi, soloist


Friends in Christ, in this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to 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 called at baptism. [We have shared this discipline of Lent with new brothers and sisters in Christ who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil.]
Within the community of the church, God never wearies of forgiving sin and giving the peace of reconciliation. On this night let us confess our sin against God and our neighbor, and enter the celebration of the great Three Days reconciled with God and with one another.
Most merciful God,
we confess that we are captive to sin
and cannot free ourselves.
We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us.
Forgive us, renew us, and lead us,
so that we may delight in your will
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your holy name. Amen.

God, who is rich in mercy, loved us
even when we were dead in sin,
and made us alive together with Christ.
By grace you have been saved.
In the name of  Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven.
Almighty God strengthen you with power
through the Holy Spirit,
that Christ may live in your hearts through faith.


GATHERING SONG:  Jesus, I Will Ponder Now  (ELW 345)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  And also with you.

Let us pray. 
Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST READING: Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14
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.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.

PSALM: Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
1I love the LORD, who has | heard my voice,
and listened to my | supplication,
2for the LORD has given | ear to me
whenever I called.
12How shall I re- | pay the LORD
for all the good things God has | done for me
13I will lift the cup | of salvation
and call on the name | of the LORD. 
14I will fulfill my vows | to the LORD
in the presence of | all God’s people.
15Precious in your | sight, O LORD,
is the death | of your servants.
16O LORD, truly I | am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me | from my bonds.
17I will offer you the sacrifice | of thanksgiving
and call upon the name | of the LORD.
18I will fulfill my vows | to the LORD
in the presence of | all God’s people,
19in the courts of | the LORD’s house,
in the midst of you, | O Jerusalem.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
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.

GOSPEL: John 13:1-17, 31b-35
The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.
1Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet” 7Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you 13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
31b“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON                                     Rev. Wende Bleam


HYMN OF THE DAY: Love Consecrates the Humblest Act  (ELW 360)


I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.* On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Offerings may be placed in the tray as you leave the sanctuary, or online 
using the donate button on our website, or mailed to the church. All gifts are welcomed and appreciated.  Thank you for supporting our ministry as we bring God’s Word to people and help provide for their needs.


God of good gifts, receive these and all our offerings as we present them in faithful service for the sake of your gospel. Prepare our hearts to receive you in this meal as you pour out your very presence through Christ Jesus, the wellspring of eternal life. Amen.


Trusting in Jesus who gave his life for the world, let us pray for the church, the world, and all in need.
God who kneels to wash our feet, gather your church around the world during this holy week. Humble the powerful and lift up any who are marginalized. Renew our faith and make us bold in service and love to our neighbors. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.

God who blesses the grain of the soil and the fruit of the vine, inspire in us a reverent care for the earth. Sustain fields, gardens, and wild places, that all people are fed and every living thing flourishes. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God whose greatest commandment is love, guide all who govern by the principle of love. Transform unjust human systems that oppress some for the gain of others. Restore communities as places of justice and concern for those who are vulnerable. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Lord, we pray for the people of Israel and Palestine, for those the Gaza Strip who are suffering the ravages of war  We also pray for the Ukrainian people that they be surrounded by your love and protection against the attacks on their country.  Lift them up, and protect, them, end this war against them and let your peace reign.  Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God who was betrayed, comfort people everywhere who have suffered abuse at the hands of someone they knew and trusted. Heal the bodies, minds, and hearts of victims of exploitation. Help all in pain to know that you are near. We pray especially for the family of Hazel Hammond, the family of Kenny Thomas, and the friends and family of Lynda Strand, Barb, Calvin, Krystal, Alexandra, Jim, Robin, Dan, Sue, Jennifer, Ray, Ashton, Justin, Lois, Kathy and Rich McLaughlin, Carol, Connor, Ana, Helen, Jose, Hoon, Pat, Deb, Joe, Ruth, Lisa, Rick, Alisia, Jacklyn, Lillian, Alexis, Jim and those we now raise before you in our hearts.  We pray for those affected by the Covid virus in mind, body or spirit.  Grant them healing and wholeness. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God who sits at the table with us, grant the joy of your presence to people celebrating first communion today, and to all who share the meal. Strengthen communities of faith in grace and courage. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God who brings new life out of death, we pray with thanks for the lives of those who have joined the communion of saints. In our holy meal, connect us to the faithful who have gone before us, and nourish us as your people living today. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
Receive these prayers, loving God, for the sake of the One who loved us to the end, Jesus Christ, our redeemer.

The peace of the Lord be with you always.  And also with you.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you
Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.    
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God,
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
whose suffering and death gave salvation to all.
You gather your people around the tree of the cross,
transforming death into life.
And so, with all the choirs of angels,
with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:



Blessed are you, O God of the universe.
Your mercy is everlasting and your faithfulness endures from age to age.

Praise to you for creating the heavens and the earth.
Praise to you for saving the earth from the waters of the flood.
Praise to you for bringing the Israelites safely through the sea.
Praise to you for leading your people through the wilderness to the land of milk and honey.
Praise to you for the words and deeds of Jesus, your anointed one.
Praise to you for the death and resurrection of Christ.
Praise to you for your Spirit poured out on all nations.

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
With this bread and cup we remember our Lord's passover from death to life
as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

O God of resurrection and new life:
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Bless this feast. Grace our table with your presence.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Reveal yourself to us in the breaking of the bread.
Raise us up as the body of Christ for the world.
Breathe new life into us.
Send us forth, burning with justice, peace, and love.
Come, Holy Spirit.

With your holy ones of all times and places,
     with the earth and all its creatures,
     with sun and moon and stars,
     we praise you, O God,
     blessed and holy Trinity,
     now and forever.  Amen.

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, we pray as Jesus taught us:

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.

Where charity and love abide, there is God.  Rejoice in the Lord’s Holy Communion.


The body of Christ, given for you.        The blood of Christ, shed for you.

The body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.  Amen.

A: Let us pray.
Lord Jesus, in a wonderful sacrament you strengthen us with the saving power
of your suffering, death, and resurrection. May this sacrament of your body and blood so work in us that the fruits of your redemption will show forth in the way we live, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.




CONGREGATIONAL SONG: Jesus, Remember Me (ELW 616)


The service concludes with the stripping of the altar. The assembly sits.   

 1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me
 Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning
 2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
 and by night, but find no rest.
 3Yet you are holy,
 enthroned on the praises of Israel.
 4In you our ancestors trusted;
 they trusted, and you delivered them.
 5To you they cried, and were saved;
 in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.
 6But I am a worm, and not human;
 scorned by others, and despised by the people.
 7All who see me mock at me;
 they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
 8"Commit your cause to the LORD; let him deliver —
 let him rescue the one in whom he delights!"
 9Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
 you kept me safe on my mother's breast.
 10On you I was cast from my birth,
 and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
 11Do not be far from me,
 for trouble is near
 and there is no one to help.
 12Many bulls encircle me,
 strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
 13they open wide their mouths at me,
 like a ravening and roaring lion.
 14I am poured out like water,
 and all my bones are out of joint;
 my heart is like wax;
 it is melted within my breast;
 15my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
 and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
 you lay me in the dust of death.
 16For dogs are all around me;
 a company of evildoers encircles me.
 My hands and feet have shriveled;
 17I can count all my bones.
 They stare and gloat over me;
 18they divide my clothes among themselves,
 and for my clothing they cast lots.
 19But you, O LORD, do not be far away!
 O my help, come quickly to my aid!
 20Deliver my soul from the sword,
 my life from the power of the dog!
 21Save me from the mouth of the lion!
 From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
 22I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters
 in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
 23You who fear the LORD, praise him!
 All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
 stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
 24For he did not despise or abhor
 the affliction of the afflicted;
 he did not hide his face from me,
 but heard when I cried to him.
 25From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
 my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
 26The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
 those who seek him shall praise the LORD.
 May your hearts live forever!
 27All the ends of the earth shall remember
 and turn to the LORD;
 and all the families of the nations
 shall worship before him.
 28For dominion belongs to the LORD,
 and he rules over the nations.
 29To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
 before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
 and I shall live for him.
 30Posterity will serve him;
 future generations will be told about the LORD,
 31and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
 saying that he has done it.

Our service continues tomorrow evening.  Please depart in silence.

From Sundays and Copyright 2013 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #44714.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.