Our school district is probably the only one on spring break, but in case you find yourself traveling this Holy Week, here is a Worship to Go service for Maundy Thursday. You can do this anywhere, but how especially lovely to share over a meal with friends.
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you have really known me, you will also know the Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.” – John 14:6-7 (CEB)
Words of Scripture John 15:1-12 (NRSV)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Interpreting God’s Word Together
Pruning is necessary for plants to continue to be fruitful. Without pruning, the fruit will become less abundant and of a lower quality. What needs to be pruned from your life so that you may bear good fruit?
Are there places in your life or relationships that do not seem to be bearing fruit? How are you (or not) abiding in Jesus in these areas?
On the night before he died, Jesus took time to remind the disciples of his love for them. Even when he would no longer be with them, their relationship would continue. What does it mean for you to abide in Jesus?
On a night of betrayal, Jesus talks about joy and love. How have you seen joy and love persevere in your life despite difficult circumstances?
Prayer of Confession and Assurance from John 15
Lord, it is difficult to understand how you call us “friend.” You said that you chose us rather than waiting for us to choose you. We wonder, how long would have you to wait before we would gladly choose you?
Everything about you confirms your love for us: the constancy of the sun rising and setting, the taste of good food in our mouths, the miraculous ways our bodies grow, work and heal, the forgiveness you offer when we confess our sins. How easy it is to accept forgiveness even as we hesitate to admit our need for it.
Jesus, teach us to abide in you. Help us to accept the pruning we need – not to hurt us but to make us fruitful. Not to bring death but to give abundant life. Teach us to love as you have loved us. May your joy be complete in us as our joy is complete in you.
Our Song of Love “What Wondrous Love is This”
“You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. I give you these commandments so that you can love each other.” – John 15:16-17 (CEB)
On a night of betrayal, Jesus talks about #joy and #love. How have you seen joy and love persevere in your life despite difficult circumstances? #John15 #abide #Lent Click To Tweet