Bill conveys three things: the power of prayer, the Holy Week schedule, and what you need for Maundy Thursday.
Bill: Hi friends, my name is Bill Evertsberg and I’m one of the ministers at Kenilworth Union Church, and this is Doogie, my assistant minister.
I want to talk to you about three things this week: first of all, I want to tell you something you already know, I want to reinforce something you’re already aware of, and that is that prayer works. You probably heard Sister Jean’s scouting report masquerading as a prayer before the Loyola-Illinois game in the second round of the NCAA men’s tournament on Sunday.
Sister Jean prayed before the game, “O God, as we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win. We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds because the Illini make about fifty percent of their layups and only thirty percent of their three-pointers. Our defense can take care of that.”
That was Sister Jean’s prayer. Remarkably, it was as if Sister Jean’s scouting report/prayer scripted the entire game because that’s exactly what happened. The Ramblers came out fast, they came out of the gate like it was the Kentucky Derby, they made the Illini nervous, the Illini ended up missing about fifty percent of their layups and two-thirds of their threes, and the Ramblers took care of that. They outrebounded the larger Illini, I think it was 30-27 or something like that. And so, Sister Jean ended up scripting that entire game.
Coincidence? I think not. Prayer works. So that’s the first thing.
Second thing I want to talk to you is about the Holy Week schedule. This coming Sunday, March 28, is Palm Sunday of course, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of you there. We’re having two services, 8:30 in the Memorial Garden, weather permitting—say a little prayer about that, too, because prayer works—and then of course our 9:30 virtual service. If you’re coming in person at 8:30, you need to register for that service in the garden. Also, you need to do BYOC, we bring our own chairs to those services. So that’s Palm Sunday, March 28.
Easter Sunday is April 4. We’re going to have four services on Easter Sunday. 6:30 Sunrise service, in the Memorial Garden, register. 8:30, in the Memorial Garden, weather permitting, you have to register for that one. 9:30 virtual service as usual, no registration of course. And then at 10:30 we’re going to be in the sanctuary with a limit of 50 people, and of course you have to register for that service as well. So that’s the second thing I wanted to talk to you about, the Holy Week schedule.
And so the third thing I would like to talk to you about this week is Maundy Thursday. If Easter is April 4, Sunday, that means Maundy Thursday is April 1, and there will be one service of worship at 7:30. It will be a virtual service. We will be celebrating a Service of Tenebrae, which means of shadows, and will be following the arc of Jesus’ passion as it comes to us in the Gospel of John, and of course we’re also going to be celebrating the sacrament of the Eucharist as Jesus did with his friends on that first Last Supper, and you’re going to be doing this in the privacy and safety of your own home so you need to prepare a little bit.
The first thing you need to do is get some preferably kosher wine. This is Mogen David kosher wine, I got this at Binny’s for I think $2.98. It’s a noble vintage. You can get manischewitz kosher wine and also of course you need some unleavened bread, which is what Jesus and his friends would have celebrated on the first Last Supper.
And so Katie and Christine and I will be celebrating in the chancel at the church and saying the words of institution, and you can follow along, and so this is what we’re going to do. I’m going to say or Katie’s going to say “On the night on which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread and after giving thanks for it, he broke it and said ‘This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same manner after supper, Jesus took the cup and pouring it out he said ‘This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for a complete remission of all your sins. Do this in remembrance of me.'”
So Kathy, this is the Body of Christ, broken for you. And this is the Love of Christ, poured out for you.
Kathy: Bill, bread of life. Cup of salvation.
Bill: Amen. So that will be the sacrament of Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, April 1, 7:30, see you then, sort of. And God bless you.