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Weekly Bible Notes

Maundy Thursday


Opening Verse of Scripture—John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Collect Prayer for the Day—Before we read we pray

God our Father, you have invited us to share in the supper which your Son gave to his Church to proclaim his death until he comes: may he nourish us by his presence, and unite us in his love; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

God our Father, your Son Jesus Christ was obedient to the end and drank the cup prepared for him: may we who share his table watch with him through the night of suffering and be faithful.

Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

First Bible Reading Exodus 12:1-4,11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbour, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.


Gospel Reading  John 13:1-17, 31b-35

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 

Jesus replied, “You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 

Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

 “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Post Communion Prayer

Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until He comes. Amen


God our Father, you have invited us to share in the supper which your Son gave to his Church to proclaim his death until he comes: may he nourish us by his presence, and unite us in his love; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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. We pray you, by your Holy Spirit write this commandment in our hearts. Help us serve as Jesus served, to be unafraid to offer ourselves for the sake of others. Amen

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament you have given us the memorial of your passion: grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries of your body and blood that we may know within ourselves and show forth in our lives the fruit of your redemption, for you are alive and reign, now and for ever.

O God, our Father, who sent your Son to be our Saviour: Renew in us day by day the power of your Holy Spirit; that with knowledge and zeal, with courage and love, with gratitude and hope, we may strive powerfully in your service: May he keep our vision clear, our aspiration high, our purpose firm and our sympathy wide; that we may live as faithful soldiers and servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.—William Temple (1881-1944), Archbishop of Canterbury.


Go now in peace and may the Lord our God bless you and keep you. May he make his face to shine up and lift up his countenance upon you—both now and forevermore. Amen



  1. Man of Sorrows
  2. You laid aside you majesty 
  3. A new commandment
  4. Broken for me
  5. I cannot tell



Should We Wash Feet?

The question comes to mind, of course: If Emmanuel washed the disciples' feet, should we wash one another's feet? Has Jesus given us a symbol? In our services of worship should we institute foot-washing?

No. The act is of course is unrepeatable and means nothing in our culture. What we should of course do is to commit ourselves to the kind and quality of love that is represented by the foot-washing.

The point about the original episode is of course that it was not symbolic! If it were then it would lose its nature as an act of love. It is something else —a beautiful gesture, perhaps, but not love.

True love is never a gesture.

That is a human problem with love. We substitute gifts for affection, gestures for words, words for gestures, jewels for kindness, manners for passion. We are forever playing games of love - whether that be love of man for woman, love of son for father, or love of rich for poor.

Every attempt to make of the foot-washing a pious gesture plays into the hands of the devil. The devil would like nothing better than for us to think love is some kind of game, in which there are proper gestures, words and moves—all of which can be substituted for direct, physical, unmistakable deeds of caring.

Jean Sulivan was a French priest who was permitted by his bishop to leave parish work for a career as a writer. He wrote mostly novels, because he wanted people to get past the abstractions of religion to the lived experience of faith. In his spiritual journal he wrote:

"The fundamental insight of the Bible . . . is that the invisible can speak only by means of the perceptible."

Jesus wanted to demonstrate his devotion in an unmistakable way. So he got up from supper and washed their feet. According to the Gospel story, he did this in full knowledge of who he was and where he was going. It is a revelatory deed, not a mysterious gesture. Perhaps the love of God for humans was never made so plain, so direct, so personal.





Having loved His own who were in the world, 
He now showed them the full extent of His love

He revealed the 
Father to them 
Jn 5 v 16-47

He revealed Himself 
in the power of the resurrection 
Jn 20 v 19-23

He helped 
them out of difficulties 
Mk 2 v 23-28

He didn’t get angry or
Mt 19 v 13-15

He let them share in His work 
Mk 3 v 13-19

He persisted with them 
Mt 15 v 10-20

Told them all He knew about God Mt 5 - 7

He taught them how to pray 
Lk 11 v 1-4

He prayed for them
 Jn 17 v 6-19
He comforted them
 Jn 14 v 1-3
He defended them
 Matt 12 v 1-7
He gave Himself 
to them 
Mk 10 v 45
He was as a 
servant to them 
Jn 13 v 5

He had a special love for the 12 
Lk 10 v 23-24 
He had a special relationship with 3 of them 
Lk 9 v 28-36 
He had a unique relationship with 1 of them 
Mt 16 v 18

God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life



Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday