The Upper Zoom: Worship and Bible Study Guide for Week 3 - Maundy Thursday

Current students, faculty, and staff are participating in a five-week, synchronous, socially-distanced Bible study and worship series called The Upper Zoom ©2020. Each week we will post the worship outline and Bible study that the Andover Newton Seminary community participated in the *previous* week. This way, our extended Andover Newton family, partner churches, and friends can lead their own weekly socially-distanced service.

The Upper Zoom (©2020): Week 3

Order of Worship by Sarah B. Drummond 

Set the table: choose an activity for quiet centering, such as playing a song or lighting a candle.  
Checking in: group members share how they’re doing, around 2 minutes each.
Bible study: show passage on the screen. Pose questions to stoke discussion. Discuss for 10-15 minutes. (Bible study is outlined below)
Prayer: Group leaders will have received prayer requests in an email by 5 p.m. Thursday. Also, the group leader might decide to write down prayers based on check-ins. Hold space for silence (3 minutes, give or take) after intercessory prayers. End with the Lord’s Prayer.
Ritual observancesCommunion. Invite all participants to bring some kind of juice and some kind of bread together and share a communion meal, using the language of your choosing, telling the story of Jesus and the last supper.
Blessing: either the group leader can read, or can share the screen so all might recite, the traditional Emmaus (Pauline) blessing.
And now may the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in the knowledge and the love of God, and of God’s son Jesus Christ. And may the blessing of God almighty, who created you, redeemed you, and will forever sustain you, be with you now and remain with you all forever. 
Passing the peace: Say goodbye with a word of peace, until next time. 

Bible study curriculum by Gregory Mobley

“And a Time to Refrain from Embracing” - Bible Studies for a Time and Season

An Absolute Sabbath - Leviticus 25:1-7 

1And then the LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying,
2”Speak to the children of Israel and say to them
that when they enter the land which I am giving them
the land itself shall come to a halt:
it will be a sabbath for the LORD.
3Six years you shall plant seeds in the field,
and six years you shall prune your vineyards
and gather its produce.
4But in the seventh year,
the land will have an absolute sabbath,
a sabbath for the LORD.
You shall not plant seeds in the field,
your vineyards you shall not prune. 
5Even the volunteer growth you shall not harvest
and the grapes on unpruned vines you shall not gather.
the land will have a year of absolute sabbath for the LORD.
6And the land’s sabbath-yield shall be food for you,
and for your male and female servants,
and for the resident workers who sojourn with you,
7and for your livestock and the animals of your land.
All the land’s produce shall be for food.

Prompts and questions:

Note the need for a periodic “absolute sabbath.” 
How can we reimagine this season as sabbatical time, as a reset from patterns and practices?
Note the concern for the poor and the radical leveling of social distinctions in sabbatical time. 
How can we ensure that the needs of all are met during this crisis? 
How can this absolute sabbatical engender unity among all living creatures, rather than exacerbate existing inequities?