Maundy Thursday Sermon (2022)

SERMON NOTES — April 14, 2022
Maundy Thursday

Here’s the YouTube version of this sermon preached from notes:

In the late 1980’s I began to be concerned about the age of First Communion — for all children in the parish but particularly in light of my oldest sons, born in 1986, 1988, and 1991. As a parent, I wanted them to be able to take their First Communion.

Unfortunately, the ELCA official policy at the time suggested age ten (Fifth Grade). It won’t be until my boys were mostly ten already, in 1997, that the ELCA opened it official policy to communing all the baptized of any age.

I hope I helped to contribute to that ‘opening’ of Communion with an essay I had published in 1994 (in Currents in Theology and Mission) titled, “Holy Communion as the Means of Grace to Serve” (available in the back of the church).

My main proposal is that we have over-emphasized forgiveness with the table sacrament to the neglect of other central themes, such as the joyful victory over sin and death, but especially as the nourishment we need to lead lives of loving service.

The central Bible passage I cited were the five Gospel passages of the Lord’s Supper in the four Gospels and 1 Corinthians 11. We see the theme of service especially in:

Luke moving the teaching about greatness to the Last Supper, where Jesus says to his disciples, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:25-27)

Paul scolding the Corinthians for not practicing their Meal in the spirit of service (1 Cor 11)

And today’s Gospel Reading — which is basically an object lesson on the importance of leading lives of service!

Here’s the YouTube version of this sermon preached from notes:

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