Goodbyes can be extremely difficult. This is certainly true in the case of Jesus and his final hours with his disciples. Here, in the small upper room of a house somewhere outside of Jerusalem, Jesus informs his friends that he will soon have to leave them. However, at the same time, he also adds, "I will not leave you orphaned." Indeed, he promises to give them his eternal presence through the power of the Holy Spirit. In today's sermon, Coralie will elaborate on precisely what this means for us, the people of Christ's church.
When Mary Magdalene comes to Jesus' tomb on the first Easter Sunday she comes for the same reason anyone might visit the grave site of a loved one: to mourn. But instead of finding a sealed tomb she notices, first, that the stone has been rolled away and, secondly, that the body of Jesus is missing. Either someone has stolen the body of Christ or Mary is about to be the first to experience a wonderful event – an event of eternal significance. Come celebrate the resurrection of our Lord with us!
The first of these two videos is a traditional service of Evening Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer with Maundy Thursday readings. If you have a copy of the BCP at home, we recommend that you get it and follow along with the service, saying all the responses that are appropriate. If you don't have a copy of the BCP, you can still reverently participate, joining in whatever prayers you know from memory. Of course, you may take part in this service at any time. However, we recommend that you watch it at around 7:00 on Thursday evening.
After you participate in the Evening Prayer service, we highly recommend watching this sermon by Jasmine. The sermon is focused on John 13 - the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet.
Questions for Personal and Small Group Considerations on the Sunday Gospel Reading (John 17:20-26) taken from the Serendipity Bible:
Who is the focus of Jesus’ prayer in verses 20-26? Toward what end? What kind of unity exists between Jesus and God that we should copy?
What does Jesus’ ultimate desire (v. 24) reveal about his love for us?
How do verses 25-26 sum up the major concerns of Jesus in chapters 13-16?
This week, whom have you glorified by the way you lived? How so?
How are your prayers for others like and unlike Jesus’ prayer? Do your prayers reflect the short-term or the long-term important needs that people have? What can you apply to your prayer skills from this chapter?
How does the fact that Jesus existed before the world began affect the way you live?
How important to you is unity with other believers? With whom do you share this unity? How can you experience more unity?