In John 13, Jesus gathers his disciples together around a table. After he washes their feet, he commands us to love one another as he has has loved us. (By the way, the meaning of the Latin word Maundy is commandment.)
To celebrate Maundy Thursday this year, we invite you to share a meal and holy conversation with others virtually. Invite one or two other families or individuals to participate with you by gathering at their table, with their meal, at the same time. Use it as an opportunity to reflect on who you feel God is nudging you to connect with or reach out to during this season.
Details for the Meal
Virtual Format – You can use any form of virtual connection that works for you. There are many free video conference services, including FaceTime (Apple), Google Hangouts, and Skype, and audio only options, such as FreeConferenceCalling.Com. Tabernacle Community, If you need help setting one of these up, please contact Meg@tbcrichmond.org and she will assist. Members of sister churches are encouraged to reach out their pastoral staff members for assistance.
Who – One of the gifts of our traditional Maundy Thursday meal is its inter-generational nature. We encourage you to use this meal as a time to connect with someone outside of your typical circle or age group, or even someone that lives in another part of the world but who is connected to Tabernacle through Livestream ministry or other avenues.
Time – There is not a single time for this event, as we expect folks to gather at various times depending on what works best for their schedule. Be sure to consider time zone differences should you want to dine with someone that doesn’t live in your neck of the woods.
Holy Conversation: Group Reflection Questions
Spend the first part of the meal catching up with one another, sharing the gifts and challenges of this season together. When you feel ready, we invite you to transition into a time of Holy conversation using the following questions that bring us into connection with the Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples.
- Why is this night different from all other nights? Why do we call this particular Thursday “holy”?
- Share one word about how you are feeling in the midst of this Holy Week, as we navigate the rituals and rhythms in a totally different way (virtually).
- Lent began nearly 40 days ago, when our whole world was totally different. Lent is meant to be a time of prayer, preparation and fasting. We are probably all praying, preparing, and fasting, but maybe for different reasons that we originally planned:
- What is your prayer during this season?
- How do you sense God is using this time to prepare you?
- What are you fasting from–whether by choice, or maybe because your life has changed in a way that has forced you to give up or let go of something you love?
- Why these symbols– why do you think Jesus gathered the disciples for a meal?
- Why the bread? Why the cup? Why do you think Jesus chose these elements to remind the disciples of his love?
You may choose to celebrate communion together, with whatever bread and cup you have available. You may choose to end with a blessing, or with sharing of prayer concerns.
Blessing the Bread, the Cup
A Blessing for Holy Thursday by Jan Richardson
Let us bless the bread
that gives itself to us
with its terrible weight,
its infinite grace.
Let us bless the cup
poured out for us
with a love
that makes us anew.
Let us gather
around these gifts
and deeply blessed.
And then let us go
bearing the bread,
carrying the cup,
laying the table
within a hungering world.