‘BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD’ – (Psalm 46 verse 10).
(Before you begin, fill a basin with warm water and get a towel to wash and dry your feet or hands. Place a piece of bread on a small plate, and a glass of wine or fruit juice to drink later.) Sit comfortably, be still, relax, and know God with you. Take a few deep breaths . Go through this service slowly.
Hymn 20 StF – Be still, for the presence of the lord.
Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, we praise you for your love which knows no bounds , your grace which was prepared to suffer so much for our sakes. Forgive us that we forget sometimes how much it all cost you, the inner turmoil,the sorrow, the pain, you endured to make us whole.Speak to us afresh through all we share this evening, and help us to show our response not just through these few moments’ worship, but through lives offered in service to you. In your name we pray. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer.
Reading: John 13: 3-15.
Jesus knew that the Father had given him complete power; he knew that he came from God and was going to God. So he rose from the table, took off his outer garment, and tied a towel round his waist. Then he poured some water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel round his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Are you going to wash my feet Lord?” Jesus answered him “You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later. “Peter declared: “Never at any time will you wash my feet!” “If I do not wash your feet,” Jesus answered, “you will no longer be my disciple.”Simon Peter answered, “Lord do not wash only my feet, then! Wash my hands and head too!”Jesus said, Anyone who has had a bath is completely clean and does not have to wash himself, except for his feet. All of you are clean – except one.” …. After Jesus had washed their feet, he put his outer garment back on and returned to his place at the table. “Do you understand what I have just done to you?” he asked. “You call me Teacher and Lord and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. I your Lord and Teacher , have just washed your feet. You then should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.”
Hymn 249 StF. Jesu, Jesu.
This Lent has been very different owing to the Corona Virus and the restrictions that have been placed upon us. How have you felt, missed or been blessed? For Pauline and I, the Psalmist’s words: ‘Be Still and Know that I am God’ have been very helpful.We can ‘be still’ in many ways: watching nature, listening to music, reading a book, or just sitting quietly. Sometimes a shock or surprise can also cause us to ‘be still and know God.’ This was no doubt, Jesus’ disciples’ experience on that first Maundy Thursday.As the roads were very sandy and dirty in Israel, it was the custom at that time for a servant of the house to welcome guests with a bowl of water, a towel and then washed their feet. This had not happened in the upper room that day. Mainly because, Luke tells us, the disciples had been arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest of them and probably the least. They no doubt all saw it beneath them to perform this menial task.

So during the Passover celebration Jesus himself took a towel, a bowl of water and proceeded to wash his disciples’ feet. Only Peter protested, and refused to allow Jesus to do this, but then Jesus explained that if he didn’t let him wash his feet he could no longer be one of his disciples. So then Peter asked to be washed all over, but Jesus said this was not necessary as only his feet needed to be cleaned. He had to learn, just as he did when he objected to Jesus facing suffering and death before, that God’s will has to be done.

As Jesus washed their feet they felt his intimate love refreshing and cleansing them and may possibly have felt a little ashamed and shocked that their Teacher and Lord would do such a thing for them when they themselves should have done it for Him!

So what of us? How do we feel about Jesus serving us? Tom Wright commenting on this passage, says: ‘If we are to belong to Jesus He must wash us. What we need, day by day, is the regular washing of those parts of ourselves, our personalities and bodies, which get dusty and dirty’. We need to be daily cleansed of our sins by Jesus.

I invite you now to wash either
your (or your partner’s) feet or
hands and feel Jesus’ love
touching and cleansing you.

Reading: Matthew 25: 26-30. The Lord’s Supper. While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. “Take, and eat it,” he said, “this is my body.”Then he took a cup , gave thanks to God, and gave it to them. Drink it, all of you” he said, “this is my blood which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

When Jesus took the bread and wine, the disciples would have expected Him to say the familiar words of the Passover. However, instead, He took the bread, broke it ‘and gave it to them and said ‘This is my body given for you.’ Then he took a cup of wine and said ‘This is my blood poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins ‘

Now spend a few moments and examine your heart and confess any wrong thoughts , words, or actions and ask for God’s mercy and peace.Although the disciples didn’t understand the significance of what Jesus did we know He was pointing directly to His imminent death on the cross.

Let us therefore, take our piece of bread, give thanks to God and eat it in remembrance of all that Christ suffered for us.

Christ is the Bread of Life.

Let us drink our wine as a symbol of His blood and be thankful.

Christ is the true Vine.

It must have been a moment of great shock when Jesus did these things, and I suspect the disciples must have been stunned into silence, yet it was a moment in time which they would hold on to for the rest of their lives as they knew God with them!

May we all know the blessings of ‘being still’ and God’ with us, always.

Hymn 272 StF. – From Heaven you came

May the almighty and merciful Lord,
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Bless us, and keep us now and always. Amen.