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Holy (Maundy) Thursday

For this day during Holy Week, we focus on the reading from Mark with an excerpt from Welcome to the Lord’s Table.

Scripture Readings

Exodus 24:3–11
Psalm 116:12–19
1 Corinthians 10:16–17
Mark 14:12–26

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Devotional Reading

“This is my body. . . . my blood. . . .” The disciples (who had never understood what Jesus meant about being betrayed, suffering, dying, and rising) could not have fully realized all that Jesus meant when he talked about his body “given for you,” his blood “shed for you.” But with those simple, radical words Jesus announced a change in the old order.

The Lord ended with this charge: “This do in remembrance of me.” The disciples finished dinner, sang some songs, and then went out into the night. In the few short hours that were to follow, Jesus would be betrayed by Judas, deserted by his closest friends, arrested, mocked in a secret trial, sentenced to death, hung on a cross, and laid in a borrowed grave.

But that wasn’t the end.

The meal would have disappeared from the pages of history if that had been the end of the story. This announcement of a new order would have been a joke if Christ had remained in the grave. Our lives, our future, our world would be hopelessly lost if the crucifixion had ended it all. But it didn’t.

You know the rest of the story. The stone was rolled away from the tomb. The body was gone. Jesus was alive! He had risen! Christ had offered his own life, his whole self in love for a lost world. It was God’s plan all along. And now God had raised him up.

Today, as we gather to remember Jesus’ sacrifice, we take his words “This do in remembrance of me” seriously. We receive the meal and accept it as a “heavenly table” by which we feed on forgiveness and life. We receive the body and blood of the Lord of life himself when we take the bread and wine. And remembering his promise to one day return to share the eternal victory feast with all who trust in him, we are filled with a great and serious joy!

Devotional reading is from Welcome to the Lord’s Table, pages 16–17 © 1993 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Hymn

Hymn is “O Lord, We Praise Thee,” hymn 617 from Lutheran Service Book. Video © 2018 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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