A Prayer for Maundy Thursday

Easter is the highlight of the year for the Christian church. It is when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ our Savior. It is a day of victory as we celebrate Christ’s triumph over sin and death and as we celebrate the sonship we have with God the Father because of Jesus’ sacrifice. It’s that sacrifice that we remember on Maundy Thursday.

Maundy Thursday is the day we remember and repent of the sins that caused our break with God in the first place. Without our sin, Jesus would have had no reason to sacrifice His body to reunite us with God. It was our sin that caused the breach in the relationship and therefore it was our sin that made the cross necessary. It is a day to remember that Jesus’ sacrifice was real and was caused by us. His suffering was our fault. Oh, Lord! Forgive us. Forgive us and restore us to Yourself through Jesus.

The Maundy Thursday service at our church is one of my favorite church services of the year. Not because it’s fun and uplifting and happy, but because it is necessary to remember the weight of our sin. It’s necessary so that we don’t forget to be grateful for our precious Redeemer. We are completely without hope… except for Jesus. As we remember, we take the Lord’s supper as a physical reminder that the cross was real, necessary, and heavy.

From the Lutheran Book of Prayer:

Eternal Savior, how can my heart show its appreciation for Your love? How can I serve You best, who has loved me and given Your life for me? You have sealed to me the forgiveness of all my sins and offered me reconciliation and peace in the blessed sacrament You instituted on this day. You have promised to give me, with the bread and the cup, Your body and blood for the remission of all my sins. Oh, what amazing love! What riches of divine wisdom! In awe and wonderment I ponder this precious gift. May I ever appreciate this blessed sacrament that You have bidden me to use as a memorial of Your death and a monument of Your redemptive love. May I come worthily each time I approach Your altar.

O Savior, cast me not away from your presence. Let not my sins remain with me because of impenitence of heart or because I doubt Your word and promises. Let me become one with You and with all of Your saints as I receive with them this blessed sacrament. Make me Yours, and give me strength to amend my sinful life and walk closer to You.

Preserve in Your church this blessed sacrament, given on this sacred day. Let thousands and ten thousands find through it the assurance of forgiveness, peace, and salvation. And grant that I and all who are Yours may be faithful to Your word and Your sacraments, that Your name be glorified, Your will be done, and we at last live with You in Your eternal kingdom forevermore. Amen.

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