holy week at home

MAUNDY THURSDAY

(Any guesses as to why it’s called “Maundy Thursday”? If not, you’ll find out soon).

Take a minute or two to center yourself by praying Psalm 130:7 as you breathe:

—breathe in

With the Lord

—hold breath

there is unfailing love;

—breathe out

His redemption overflows

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:

I lift my eyes up to the hills—
where does my help come from?

All:

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

OPENING PRAYER

Ask that God would reveal himself in this time and in this place. 

If you’re in a group, consider asking different people to pray each day.

Thursday of Holy Week is called Maundy Thursday because it is on this day that we remember Jesus washing his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, which is like our English word “mandate” or “command”. After Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, he told them, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (John 13:34). 

Today's scripture text:

JOHN 13:1-17

select one (or all) of the following formats:

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After the text is presented, someone says:

The Word of the Lord

and everyone responds:

Thanks be to God!

Response to the Word

Build Your Family Altar.

01.

MEMORY

Can you recall a specific time when you experienced the love of God? What was it like? If you’re in a group, share this out loud. 

02.

SYMBOL

Find a towel, or a wash cloth, and place it on your family altar. May it symbolize God’s humility, his love, and his cleansing work.

03.

HOPE

Can you think of a place where there might be an absence of love right now? How might you serve someone (i.e. metaphorically “wash their feet”) who is in that scenario? How might their situation change if you did this? 

Want more to do?

Additional activities

WASH EACH OTHER'S FEET

It may seem rather foreign to you, but in some faith traditions it is common to participate in a foot-washing ceremony, just as Jesus did to his disciples. This act is a sign of humility, servanthood, and love. Want to give it a try? All you need is:

#1. a basin, or bowl, of warm water, and

#2. a towel to dry the person’s feet. 

Those that want to participate can gather together having already removed their shoes and socks. The person washing can kneel while the person whose feet are being washed sits in a chair. 

The person washing simply cups their hands to pour water over the feet of the one sitting and then drys their feet with the towel. 

Once finished, it is common for the two to hug or to pass the peace of Christ (“The peace of the Lord be with you,” says the first, “And also with you,” the second responds). Then the person whose feet were just washed kneels to wash the next person’s feet. 

Typically, you’d simply wash the feet of the person next to you. But there are times when it is appropriate to intentionally choose to wash a particular person’s feet. Perhaps there is tension, hurt, or remorse in a certain relationship and there is a need to signify a lowering of one’s defenses or one’s new found devotion and commitment. For those in this situation, may washing this person’s feet be a means of redemption and the beginning of restoration.

A DEEPER LOOK

Jesus replied to Peter’s protest, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me” (John 13:8b). What does it mean to belong to God? What actually happens when we are touched by the Holy One?

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