Summary: In a day of "me-first mentality" it is beneficial for us to be called back to a heart of service to others.
This is “Passion Week.” If this were the very week that Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and we were there, imagine the mixed emotions that would dominate the week. Jesus throwing the money-changers out of the temple… and on and on.
The Church has long recognized this day – this Thursday before Easter – as Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday celebrates the night when Jesus shared His last meal with His disciples. The word Maundy, a Latin word, means command. It refers to one of the last commands Jesus gave His disciples that night – to love one another. He was getting ready to show them just how great His love was for them.
It was on this night that He tells His friends that His time has come – He would soon be leaving them. He tells them that one will betray Him into the hands of sinners, and He tells Peter that he will deny Him three times before morning. He comforts them with the words we find recorded in John 14: “Let not your heart be troubled.., He says. He promises a Comforter, and tells them to remain in Him, as the vines abides in the branch. He tells them that it will be no picnic, but that they will be hated because of Him. And then, He assures them that their sorrow will turn to joy. In chapter 17, Jesus prays: First, for Himself – “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:”; He then prays for the disciples – READ 17: 6-19; then, He prays for you and me – READ VERSES 20-26.
This was the Upper Room Discourse; the longest of the four discourses, and the most poignant. It was on this night that Jesus instituted communion and feet washing.
We come together this evening to take part in these commands, or ordinances. Ordinance is defined as “a decree or authoritative order.” As Free Will Baptists, we recognize three such ordinances, instituted by Jesus Christ. The first is Baptism; symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The second is the Lord’s Supper, which we will now observe of which, the bread and cup are symbolic of the death of Jesus Christ. So, this evening, we will share in that Lord’s Supper, and as we do, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to minister to our hearts. As Jesus broke bread, and instituted this ordiance, he was aware that Peter would deny Him. He was aware that Judas would betray Him. He knew that these seemingly strong men would follow like a group of cowards. He knows your weaknesses and mine, and still calls us to His table – to commune with us. And once we come, He speaks to us, and ministers to us. Communion is a wonderful time to evaluate your walk with Him, and your determination to follow Him.
AT THIS TIME, I WILL ASK OUR DEACONS TO COME FORWARD AS WE PREPARE TO SHARE IN THIS PART OF THE SERVICE. Open Communion…
Scripture Reading from Mt. 26: 17-30
Bless the bread, and bless the cup.
AFTER THE COMMUNION SERVICE…
And the third ordinance that we recognize is Feet washing. But, what is it? Why was it practiced? And, who was responsible to do it?
1. What is Feet Washing?