Maundy Thursday | Prayer Path and Holy Communion

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2021 Maundy Thursday Prayer Path

During Holy week, all ages are invited to walk the Vista Ridge UMC Prayer Path and reflect on the Spring Training spiritual disciplines learned during Lent. Find the six signs placed around the church. Stop at each sign, read the signs, and reflect.

This prayer journey can also be done at home—indoors or outdoors—following the steps below. If completing the Prayer Path outside of the Vista Ridge UMC church grounds, try setting a timer and walking until the timer goes off and then completing the next reflection.

Estimated Time: 30-45 minutes

Share Your Photos

We would love to see photos from your prayer walk. Email them to [email protected] or post on your Facebook page and tag Vista Ridge UMC. To tag, type the @ sign and then Vista Ridge United Methodist Church and the name of the church page should pop up. Select the church. When tagged, the church name will be highlighted in blue showing that it will link to the church’s Facebook profile.

Jesus Prayed

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. We have been practicing the spiritual discipline of prayer. What do you think Jesus saw, heard, smelled, felt, and tasted while in the garden praying? Stop and reflect now on what you can see, hear, smell, feel, and taste. Pray and thank God for one or more of those things.

Matthew 26:36-39
Common English Bible (CEB)
Jesus in Prayer
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to the disciples, “Stay here while I go and pray over there.” 37 When he took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious. 38 Then he said to them, “I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert with me.” 39 Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want.”

Scripture | Matthew 26:36-39

Jesus Knew Scripture

Jesus knew the scriptures. He taught and explained scriptures. Read Mark 14:49. Jesus knew and was referring to Isaiah 53 and Psalm 55:12-14. What scriptures do you know by heart? What is your favorite story about Jesus? Reflect on that story. Share it with someone else.

Mark 14:49
Common English Bible (CEB)
49 Day after day, I was with you, teaching in the temple, but you didn’t arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.”

Scripture | Mark 14:49

Psalm 55:12-14
Common English Bible (CEB)
12 It’s not an enemy that is insulting me— I could handle that. It’s not someone who hates me who is exalted over me— I could hide from them. 13 No. It’s you, my equal, my close companion, my good friend! 14 It was so pleasant when together we entered God’s house with the crowd.
Isaiah 53
Common English Bible (CEB)
1 Who can believe what we have heard, and for whose sake has the Lord’s arm been revealed? 2 He grew up like a young plant before us, like a root from dry ground. He possessed no splendid form for us to see, no desirable appearance. 3 He was despised and avoided by others; a man who suffered, who knew sickness well. Like someone from whom people hid their faces, he was despised, and we didn’t think about him. 4 It was certainly our sickness that he carried, and our sufferings that he bore, but we thought him afflicted, struck down by God and tormented. 5 He was pierced because of our rebellions and crushed because of our crimes. He bore the punishment that made us whole; by his wounds we are healed. 6 Like sheep we had all wandered away, each going its own way, but the Lord let fall on him all our crimes. 7 He was oppressed and tormented, but didn’t open his mouth. Like a lamb being brought to slaughter, like a ewe silent before her shearers, he didn’t open his mouth. 8 Due to an unjust ruling he was taken away, and his fate—who will think about it? He was eliminated from the land of the living, struck dead because of my people’s rebellion. 9 His grave was among the wicked, his tomb with evildoers, though he had done no violence, and had spoken nothing false. 10 But the Lord wanted to crush him and to make him suffer. If his life is offered as restitution, he will see his offspring; he will enjoy long life. The Lord’s plans will come to fruition through him. 11 After his deep anguish he will see light, and he will be satisfied. Through his knowledge, the righteous one, my servant, will make many righteous, and will bear their guilt. 12 Therefore, I will give him a share with the great, and he will divide the spoil with the strong, in return for exposing his life to death and being numbered with rebels, though he carried the sin of many and pleaded on behalf of those who rebelled.

Jesus Fasted

Jesus fasted in the desert and was tempted. Fasting doesn’t mean just not eating. Fasting can be redirecting our attention from something that tempts us to something that brings us closer to God. How can you draw closer to God? What might you need to break from in order to do that? Take 40 steps while reflecting on the 40 days and nights Jesus fasted. 

Matthew 4:1-11
Common English Bible (CEB)
Temptation of Jesus
1 Then the Spirit led Jesus up into the wilderness so that the devil might tempt him. 2 After Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was starving. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “Since you are God’s Son, command these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God.” 5 After that the devil brought him into the holy city and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, 6 “Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down; for it is written, I will command my angels concerning you, and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.” 7 Jesus replied, “Again it’s written, Don’t test the Lord your God.” 8 Then the devil brought him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 He said, “I’ll give you all these if you bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus responded, “Go away, Satan, because it’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” 11 The devil left him, and angels came and took care of him.

Scripture | Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus Forgave

As Jesus hung on the cross, two criminals were on crosses beside him. Make a cross using rocks, sticks or something around you. Read Luke 23:39-43. Reflect on the second criminal and how Jesus responded to him. Is there anything you would like to confess? Tell God these confessions.

Luke 23:39-43
Common English Bible (CEB)
39 One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? 41 We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”

Scripture | Luke 23:39-43

Jesus Worshiped

Singing is one way to worship. The Psalms in the bible were often sung. As Jesus hung on the cross, he cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is the first line of Psalm 22. Read Matthew 27:45-50 and Psalm 22. Jesus connected with Psalms. What song do you connect with? Listen to, sing, or hum the song you connect with.

Matthew 27:45-50
Common English Bible (CEB)
45 From noon until three in the afternoon the whole earth was dark. 46 At about three Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,” which means, “My God, my God, why have you left me?” 47 After hearing him, some standing there said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 One of them ran over, took a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a pole. He offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 But the rest of them said, “Let’s see if Elijah will come and save him.” 50 Again Jesus cried out with a loud shout. Then he died.

Scripture | Matthew 27:45-50 and Psalm 22

Psalm 22
Common English Bible (CEB)
For the music leader. According to the “Doe of Dawn.” A psalm of David.
1 My God! My God,
why have you left me all alone?
Why are you so far from saving me—
so far from my anguished groans?
2 My God, I cry out during the day,
but you don’t answer;
even at nighttime I don’t stop.
3 You are the holy one, enthroned.
You are Israel’s praise.
4 Our ancestors trusted you—
they trusted you and you rescued them;
5 they cried out to you and they were saved;
they trusted you and they weren’t ashamed.

6 But I’m just a worm, less than human;
insulted by one person, despised by another.
7 All who see me make fun of me—
they gape, shaking their heads:
8 “He committed himself to the Lord,
so let God rescue him;
let God deliver him
because God likes him so much.”
9 But you are the one who pulled me from the womb,
placing me safely at my mother’s breasts.
10 I was thrown on you from birth;
you’ve been my God
since I was in my mother’s womb.
11 Please don’t be far from me,
because trouble is near
and there’s no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
mighty bulls from Bashan encircle me.
13 They open their mouths at me
like a lion ripping and roaring!
14 I’m poured out like water.
All my bones have fallen apart.
My heart is like wax;
it melts inside me.
15 My strength is dried up
like a piece of broken pottery.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you’ve set me down in the dirt of death.
16 Dogs surround me;
a pack of evil people circle me like a lion—
oh, my poor hands and feet!
17 I can count all my bones!
Meanwhile, they just stare at me, watching me.
18 They divvy up my garments among themselves;
they cast lots for my clothes.

19 But you, Lord! Don’t be far away!
You are my strength!
Come quick and help me!
20 Deliver me from the sword.
Deliver my life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion.
From the horns of the wild oxen
you have answered me!

22 I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
I will praise you in the very center of the congregation!
23 All of you who revere the Lord—praise him!
All of you who are Jacob’s descendants—honor him!
All of you who are all Israel’s offspring—
stand in awe of him!
24 Because he didn’t despise or detest
the suffering of the one who suffered—
he didn’t hide his face from me.
No, he listened when I cried out to him for help.

25 I offer praise in the great congregation
because of you;
I will fulfill my promises
in the presence of those who honor God.
26 Let all those who are suffering eat and be full!
Let all who seek the Lord praise him!
I pray your hearts live forever!
27 Every part of the earth
will remember and come back to the Lord;
every family among all the nations will worship you.
28 Because the right to rule belongs to the Lord,
he rules all nations.
29 Indeed, all the earth’s powerful
will worship him;
all who are descending to the dust
will kneel before him;
my being also lives for him.
30 Future descendants will serve him;
generations to come will be told about my Lord.
31 They will proclaim God’s righteousness
to those not yet born,
telling them what God has done.

Jesus Broke Bread

During the Last Supper, Jesus breaks bread with disciples and makes a commitment. Read Matthew 26:26-30. What can you commit to that will strengthen your relationship with God?  Share that commitment with God, write it somewhere as a reminder, or share it with a friend or family member.

Matthew 26:26-30
Common English Bible (CEB)
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Scripture | Matthew 26:26-30

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