Verse for the week: He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death and…bore the sins of many. Isaiah 53.12
Prayer of the Day: Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment: To love one another as he had loved them. By your Holy Spirit write this commandment on our hearts and keep it in our behavior; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Bible reading for the day: Matthew 26.17-29 (scripture – which many times will recount a thousand years in one sentence – slows way down to tell in detail the truth of this evening, these hours.)
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious Lord Christ, you give yourself for the forgiveness of disciples who run away instead of follow you, for sinners who deny you instead of confess you, for beloved ones who dine at your table and yet betray you; in other words: you give yourself for me and my congregation. Thank you! Until you return, give us a hearty appetite for you tonight and as often as you will; in your name I ask it. Amen.
Anthem: for a meditation on Christ’s passion, put your ear buds in or get to a personal space and listen to Samuel Barber’s “Angus Dei”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOwRW8ee4S8
What is the benefit of such eating and drinking (of the Lord’s supper)?
It is pointed out in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Through these words the forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the Sacrament, for where there is forgiveness of sin, there is also life and salvation. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Benediction: O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)
*There are many patterns for devotions. This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray. It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember: T: thanksgiving
R: regret (repentance)
I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God.