Weekly Sermon

 

Zion Lutheran Church

1924 Saint Charles Avenue

Office 1539 Saint Andrew Street

New Orleans, Louisiana

504.524.1025

HOLY THURSDAY

New Covenant Promise

April 9, 2020

 

AS WE GATHER

Holy Thursday begins the great three days that commemorate how God accomplished our salvation in Jesus Christ. The first part of the service is confession and forgiveness, the culmination of the Lenten season of repentance. Holy Thursday then recalls two central events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. First is the Lord’s Supper. The Gospel tells of the Holy Thursday night when, during the Passover meal, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “This is My body.” He then took the cup, blessed it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My blood of the new covenant.” The old covenant involved regular repeated animal sacrifice. This new covenant involves the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus’ blood, which fulfilled the old covenant once for all. We now share this Meal regularly in remembrance of Jesus’ all-availing sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. The second central event recalled tonight is the abandonment of Jesus by all who loved Him. This is remembered by the action of stripping the altar while Psalm 22 is sung or read. This reminder of how Jesus was forsaken also assures us that Jesus is with us at times when we feel forsaken.

PREPARATION

HYMN 445 When You Woke That Thursday Morning

Tune: © 1987 GIA Publications, Inc. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110002290 Text: © 1991 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110002290

Please stand

INVOCATION

P In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. C Amen.

INTROIT Psalm 116:1–4; antiphon: v. 5

P Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.

C I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.

P Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.

C The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.

P Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

C Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.

CONFESSION

P People of God, we struggle against sin, death, and the power of the devil. We have intensified the struggle begun at Baptism to daily die with Christ and also to rise daily in Christ to live anew. In this struggle we have been reminded again that we are weak and Christ is strong. We need the forgiveness of our sins in order to live as the people God has called us to be.

A time of silence is observed.

P Assured of God’s love for us through our Baptism into Christ, we confess our sin against God and our neighbors, so that we enter these three days, so central to our faith, reconciled to God and to one another.

C Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

 

P The Word of God is living and active. Words of forgiveness spoken in the name of Jesus do what they say. Come, receive the forgiveness won for you by the blood of Jesus.

CORPORATE ABSOLUTION Psalm 103:11–13

P For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. By the command of our Lord Jesus Christ I speak His Words “All of your sins are forgiven, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” C Amen.

WORD

PRAYER OF THE DAY

P Let us pray. O Lord, in this wondrous Sacrament You have left us a remembrance of Your passion. Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of Your body and blood that the fruits of Your redemption may continually be manifest in us; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. C Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT READING Exodus 24:3–11 (Moses seals the covenant with the Lord.)

3Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the just decrees. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” 4And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. 6And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

L This is the Word of the Lord. C Thanks be to God.

HYMN “What Shall I Render to the Lord”

 

Salvation’s cup of blessing now, I take and call upon God’s name.
Before His saints I pay my vow And here my gratitude proclaim.


His saints the Lord delights to save; Their death is precious in His sight.
He has redeemed me from the grave, And in His service I delight.


With thankful heart I offer now My gift and call upon God’s name.
Before His saints I pay my vow And here my gratitude proclaim.


Within His house, the house of prayer, I dedicate myself to God.
Let all His saints His grace declare And join to sound His praise abroad.

Text: Psalter, 1912. Public domain

GRADUAL Hebrews 9:12a, c, 15a; Psalm 111:9a

L Christ entered once for all into the holy places, by means of His own blood,

C thus securing an eternal redemption.

L Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant,

C so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

L He sent redemption to His people;

C He has commanded His covenant forever.

EPISTLE Hebrews 9:11–22 (Jesus is the high priest of the new covenant who gives His own blood, rather than the blood of animals, to secure eternal redemption.)

11When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

L This is the Word of the Lord. C Thanks be to God.

 

 

VERSE John 13:1b

P Having loved His own who were in the world, C He loved them to the end.

HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 26:17–30 (Jesus declares the bread to be His body and the cup to be His blood, given and shed for the forgiveness of sins.)

P The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the twenty-sixth chapter. C Glory to You, O Lord.

17Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.

20When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

26Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

P This is the Gospel of the Lord. C Praise to You, O Christ.

HYMN OF THE DAY 617 O Lord, We Praise Thee

Tune: Public domain

Text: © 1941 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110002290

SERMON

Nicene Creed

C I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

 

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.

 

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church, I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH

P Gathered by the love and remembrance of Jesus, we offer our prayers to God.

Silence for reflection

P For the Church, that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper renew and strengthen us; that by our love for one another, the world may know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ, that pastors and teachers follow the example of Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, let us pray to the Lord, C Lord, have mercy.

P For the poor, the hungry, and the homeless, that God use us to reach out to them and lift them up, let us pray to the Lord, C Lord, have mercy.

P For those preparing for Holy Baptism, that the love of Christ deepen and grow in their hearts and lives, let us pray to the Lord, C Lord, have mercy.

P For those who have lost their faith and for those who struggle to believe, that during these holy days they be filled with Christ’s light and peace, let us pray to the Lord, C Lord, have mercy.

P For the sick, the dying, and the mourning, help them to trust in the promise that nothing—not even sickness or death—can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, let us pray to the Lord, C Lord, have mercy.

P For all of us, gathered on this holy night, that, nourished by the body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, we forgive those who have wronged us and love one another from our hearts, let us pray to the Lord, C Lord, have mercy.

P Hear the prayers of Your people, merciful God, for the sake of the One who stretched out His arms on the cross to redeem Your people and to reconcile the whole creation, Jesus Christ, our Lord. C Amen.

OFFERING

OFFERTORY

HYMN 422 On My Heart Imprint Your Image

Text and tune: Public domain

SACRAMENT

PREFACE

P The Lord be with you. 2 Timothy 4:22

C And also with you.

P Lift up your hearts. [Colossians 3:1]

C We lift them to the Lord.

P Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. [Psalm 136]

C It is right to give Him thanks and praise.

PROPER PREFACE

P It is truly good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who accomplished the salvation of mankind by the tree of the cross that, where death arose, there life also might rise again and that the serpent who overcame by the tree of the garden might likewise by the tree of the cross be overcome. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:

Sanctus LSB 195

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

P All thanks and praise to You, O Lord, for Your covenant promise through the ages.
For Your covenant promise to Adam and Eve when they had fallen into sin, for Your covenant promise to Noah and his family after the flood, for Your covenant promise to Abraham and Sarah when they were childless, for Your covenant promise to the Israelites who had been enslaved in Egypt, for Your covenant promise to the house of David when Judah faltered, for Your covenant promise to the prophets and the faithful remnant amid rejection, for Your covenant promise fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, for Your covenant promise brought to us in the body and blood of Christ,
C we thank You. We bless You. We praise You. We adore You.

THE WORDS OF OUR LORD Matthew 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19–20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–25

P Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”

In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

PROCLAMATION OF CHRIST

P As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26

C Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20

P O Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, in giving us Your body and blood to eat and to drink, You lead us to remember and confess Your holy cross and passion, Your blessed death, Your rest in the tomb, Your resurrection from the dead, Your ascension into heaven, and Your coming for the final judgment. So remember us in Your kingdom and teach us to pray:

LORD’S PRAYER Matthew 6:9–13 LSB 196

P Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

PAX DOMINI

P The peace of the Lord be with you always. C Amen.

AGNUS DEI HYMN 434 Lamb of God, Pure and Holy

Tune and text: Public domain

[The church is darkened. The assistants remove Communion vessels, paraments, candles, banners, flowers, and any other adornments on the altar and in the chancel.]

STRIPPING OF THE ALTAR Psalm 22

P My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from saving Me, from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry by day, but You do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

HYMN 611 Chief of Sinners Though I Be st. 1

Tune and text: Public domain

L Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; they trusted, and You delivered them. To You they cried and were rescued; in You they trusted and were not put to shame.

HYMN 611 Chief of Sinners Though I Be st. 2

Tune and text: Public domain

P But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see Me mock Me; they make mouths at Me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the Lord; let Him deliver Him; let Him rescue Him, for He delights in Him!” Yet You are He who took Me from the womb; You made me trust You at My mother’s breasts. On You was I cast from My birth,
and from My mother’s womb You have been My God.

HYMN. 611 Chief of Sinners Though I Be st. 3

Tune and text: Public domain

L Be not far from Me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. Many bulls encompass Me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround Me; they open wide their mouths at Me, like a ravening and roaring lion.


I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within My breast; My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue sticks to My jaws; You lay Me in the dust of death.


For dogs encompass Me; a company of evildoers encircles Me; they have pierced My hands and feet—I can count all My bones—they stare and gloat over Me;they divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.

HYMN. 611 Chief of Sinners Though I Be st. 4

Tune and text: Public domain

P But You, O Lord, do not be far off! O You My help, come quickly to My aid! Deliver My soul from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog! Save Me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued Me from the horns of the wild oxen!


I will tell of Your name to My brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You: You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and He has not hidden His face from Him, but has heard, when He cried to Him.

HYMN 611 Chief of Sinners Though I Be st. 5

Tune and text: Public domain

L From You comes My praise in the great congregation; My vows I will perform before those who fear Him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the
Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For kingship belongs to the Lord,
and He rules over the nations.


All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before Him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve Him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn, that He has done it.

Please pray for: Archbiship Gregory Michael Aymond, L. Walker Allen, II, Ferol Bailey, Raymond Brown (Son of Gladys Brown-Lung Cancer). OliverButch” and Meredith Carrier, Daisy Chan, Glenn Dunn, Phelan and David Hawn, President Eric Johnson, Keppy Martin, Michael Martin, Jean and Heather Murlin, Ron Nolan, Nita Randolph, Glenda D. Smith, Carol Stokes, Sofie Stoufflet, Arnold Stevenson, Barbara Taylor, our congregation and all the members of our Armed Forces, Firefighters, Police officers, all the victims of the current pandemic, terror and weather.

All leave in silence.

Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series A, Quarter 2. Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House. Hymns and Scripture from from Lutheran Service Book Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2018 Concordia Publishing House.

 

 

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