[The picture above is from yesterday’s Maundy Thursday service at New Marshfield UMC, just outside of Athens. Union UMC joined them for this special service. We also celebrated Holy Communion. These are the two churches that our Office Manager, Jenaye Hill is serving as she begins her local pastor licensing process. Pastor Robert has been asked to preside over the Sacrament of Holy Communion at these churches until Jenaye gets her license. Our scripture focus was about Jesus being a servant and washing the disciples’ feet. The people took the message to heart. After worship, they all came out in the rain to try to push Pastor Robert’s car out of the mud! See photo below.]
O God, sometimes it’s not the hymns or the sermon that help us to sort out what is deepest in our hearts and minds. Sometimes it’s simply the silence that helps us answer the question, “How is it with your soul?”
For some of us, our souls may be feeling excited because we know that Easter awaits this long week of sorrow and sadness. For others of us, it’s hard to see beyond the thorns, the nails, the betrayal, and the denial. Life has been hard on us and it’s difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel. Some of us may not be feeling anything because we have heard these events so many times that we wonder if they can speak to us in new and fresh ways.
Loving God, however we come to this service tonight, we are grateful that you accept us for where we are in our faith journeys. You want us to question, to explore, to reflect, and to wrestle with who you are calling us to be because of these Holy Week events. Thank you for your unconditional love for us especially when we misunderstand you, when we fail you, when we doubt you, and even when we deny and betray you.
Nothing says I love you like the Son of God stooping down to wash dirty feet. Nothing says I love you like the Prince of Peace sweating drops of blood while praying in a garden. Nothing says I love you like the King of kings dying on a cross for the sins of the world. Nothing says I love you like a group of people gathered around a table to humbly receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
And nothing says I love you like when the church prays for those who are hungry, homeless, discouraged, and lost. Nothing says I love you like when the church opens it doors to all people. Nothing says I love you like when the church offers their gifts to bring transformation to our community and world.
O Savior of the world, on this holy night, we your people, seek to follow your example to serve others, and to pray the prayer that you taught your disciples to pray and now teach us to pray together saying…
“Our Father, who art in heaven…
[Tip of the Day: Don’t park in the grass during a flood warning.]