Maundy Thursday – The Way of the Cross I

with God nothing will be impossible for he is our God and the god of Salvation is making all things new Amen in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit amen Jesus told his disciples if any want to become my followers let

them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me for those who want to save their life will lose it and those who lose their life for my sake will find it once we were far off but now in Union with Christ Jesus we have been brought

near through the shedding of Christ’s blood for he is our peace hello I’m Sarah Hills Vicor of St Mary’s holy Island welcome to the National Church of England online service on this mday Thursday it’s very good to be with you as we begin the way of the Cross

as we engage with the suffering of Jesus in his passion death and ultimately his resurrection here on holy Island many pilgrims Mark the way of the Cross by walking across the Sands from the mainland to the island across the Pilgrim’s poles following in the steps of the early

Northern Saints Aiden and cbet pilgrims take off their shoes as they walk across the often wet and rather boggy Sands because they walk on Holy Ground and we too as

we were once far off as we enter into Christ’s suffering we too walk on Holy Ground let us

pray Almighty and everlasting God who in your tender love towards the human race sent your son Our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility and also be made

partakers of his Resurrection through Jesus Christ your son our Lord who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit one God now and forever amen holy God holy and strong holy imortal have mercy on us holy God holy and strong holy and Immortal

have mercy on us praise to the the and in the he pra in all his most wonderful most in all his God all and shame a second to the fight and to the resue wi love that and blood in F aesh against the and should prail and should

Flesh and Blood refine God’s presence and his very andine he for the the dou for should the secet and on the cross on should teach his toer to die praise to the hoest the heart and in the be prais in all his words most wonderful all his way

a reading from The Gospel According to Mark they went to a place called Gethsemane and he said to his disciples sit here while I pray he took with him Peter and James and John and began to be distressed and agitated and he said to them I am deeply

grieved even to death remain here and keep awake and going a little farther he threw himself on the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass from him he said Abba Father for you all things are possible remove this cup from me yet not

what I want but what you want Adore You Christ and we bless you because by your Holy Cross you haveed the word this is Monday Thursday the reading we have just heard places Jesus in a garden a garden called Gethsemane he is with his friends the disciples and

Jesus is deeply grieved asking his friends to keep awake with him in his hour of need a few years ago I went to that garden with my friends my son and my interns from Coventry Cathedral reconciliation team we sat on the ground and prayed we celebrated a Eucharist

among the ancient olive trees we looked over the valley towards Jerusalem and thought of Jesus’s suffering and how his friends didn’t know what was about to happen to him and then we heard gunshots reminding us that our world is still broken still suffering still messy in that first

Holy Week the days must have felt so long and so inexurable in their March towards the end how did Jesus cope in his final week on Earth We’re told in the passion readings that he felt anger that week and disappointment in his friends as they couldn’t keep awake

with him in the long night fear and horror of what was to come Lord please take this away from me we hear what did Jesus think about giving up his human body and his life here on Earth earlier that evening Jesus celebrated the past of a meal with

his friends hidden in the upper room before they ate he washed his disciples feet this is one of the most beautiful and poignant accounts of Jesus’s Ministry anywhere in the whole account of his life on Earth Among Us whatever he was feeling it was love that Shone through

Love In Action love in the little details real small intimate details of care for his disciples the people he had traveled with for years ordinary everyday things actions he got up he took off his cloak he tied a towel around himself he poured water into a basin he

wiped their feet with that tow you can imagine him rolling up his sleeves so that they didn’t get wet ordinary everyday actions that we all do we roll up our sleeves to wash up carers and nursing homes wipe feet with a towel mothers gently care for their babies

nurses and doctors in operations have bare arms to prevent infection maybe it is in these ordinary actions of care for the others that we see Jesus’s love for them and for us in our communities many roll up their sleeves to perform small acts of kindness for neighbors and

those in need acts of Love of care of ministry to the other Jesus’s most poignant and and tender last acts for his friends for us all washing our feet in humility care and love and here’s the rub care and kindness and love despite everything care and kindness and

love even to Judas the betrayer care and kindness and love to those in our lives we may find difficult care and kindness and love in the ordinary day-to-day acts we perform for others despite our feelings of loss or disappointment or hurt because that is the point if we

allow ourselves to be eaten up by these feelings we are lost we do need to feel these feelings of course we do and it is harmful to ignore them or squash them down but out of these feelings we are enabled to act with kindness care and love with

humility kindness and Care despite everything despite Jesus’s suffering that week despite the horrors of war in Ukraine and Russia in Gaza and Israel and all the other places in conflict that we no longer hear about or maybe that we can no longer bear to think about so let

us pray that we may walk with Jesus in his hour of need as we enter into the way of the Cross pray as feet are washed ordinary feet but feet which tell a story of these last years of pandemic of age of illness of pain and suffering praying

for where those feet have walked and where they will walk next Jesus’s actions of ordinary humble care kindness and love despite everything love for us all we are asked to follow Jesus all we have to do is walk with him on Holy Ground amen let us pray Lord

Jesus you entered the garden of fear and face the agony of your impending death be with those who share that Agony and face death unwillingly this day you shared our fear and knew the weakness of our Humanity give strength and hope to the dispirited and despairing to you

Jesus whose sweated blood be honor and glory with the father and the Holy Spirit now and forever amen holy God holy and strongly imortal Mercy holy God and strong holy and have mercy on us

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