Easter Sunday Worship

On Easter Sunday Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and retell those passages in the Bible about the discovery of the empty tomb. This date is the most important in the Christian Calendar and the Church prepares for it during Lent and Holy Week.

As our Church Secretary Val so aptly commented when sharing this service:

"This has been prepared by our Pastor Julie and it looks lovely. It seems so strange that we will not meet together physically but it is wonderful we are able to share the service via the internet.

Happy Easter for tomorrow.

May God bless you and keep you safe.

Best wishes

Val"

Opening words He is not here He has Risen – Hallelujah!

Hymn 76 Christ the Lord is Risen today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzy7jFNUc3w

Opening Prayer

Father God,

we come to you

because you turn doubt into hope,

tears into laughter

and fear into fearlessness.

We come to you

because on Easter Sunday

and on every other day,

we can say, ‘Jesus is alive!’

Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Risen : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCQsK1t9EKY

Bible Readings

  1. Isaiah 53 - foretelling the suffering and glory of Jesus

  2. Matthew 28:1-10 –the resurrection of Jesus

  3. Acts 10:34-43 Peter speaking boldly about the resurrection of Jesus

Hymn: 1105 See what a morning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LgE_E7yaz4&list=RD-LgE_E7yaz4&start_radio=1&t=28

Comments

• Matthew’s narrative of the resurrection comes at a time of great turbulence for Jesus’ followers. Matthew was written for the Jewish people after His resurrection – it was written to show the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah, God’s Son. It was written after Mark’s gospel sometime around AD 60’s so some 30 years after the death of Jesus. By this time Jesus’ popularity and number of followers had been growing. He was hailed as the one who would restore Israel, as foretold by the prophet Jeremiah and the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. He had entered Jerusalem in triumph; only days later he was tried and put to death on a cross. Excitement turned to grief, hope to fear and joy to disappointment. And then came Sunday. Wow – then came Sunday.

• Mary Magdalene and her friend, also called Mary, take a significant role in the story. They came to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus not afraid to be seen as His follower – wanting to perform this last act of love for their saviour and friend. There only concern how they would move the stone. They need not have worried for it had already been moved by the power of God, by the power of the resurrection. Jesus burst forth from the tomb into life. It was the women who were given the honour of being the first to see the risen Christ. At a time when women did not have prominent roles in society, the angel, like Jesus, chooses unexpected people to do God’s work. Their function in the story is that of witnesses, and, like the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well, they cannot keep their joy to themselves, they ran and told the others (who did not believe them until Peter and John had seen the empty tomb and reported this back). Jesus was and is Alive.

The empty Tomb

The other readings for today hint at the events that Matthew writes about.

Isaiah writes about the suffering servant who would be raised up and given a place of honour (Isaiah 53:12) that at His name all people would bow their knee and worship (Philippians 2:10 and 11)

In Acts 10, Peter’s outline of the Gospel message was so brilliantly spoken that those in the house of Cornelius were filled with the Holy Spirit and began worshipping. In this passage Peter links our role today with that of the two Marys – we too are witnesses, and we are chosen by God. Like them, we should not keep the joy of Christ rising from the dead to ourselves. We need to tell others and show others how the resurrected Christ fills our lives and hearts today in the here and now. He is not here – He has Risen – Hallelujah.

Let us live in that resurrected glory even in this time of isolation as we long for the time when we can worship together in one place.

To God be the glory for ever and ever. Amen

Hymn 689 Thine be the glory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXzmjNE-yLA

Hymn: 14 All heaven declares https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPkZAjA610k

Prayer:

Darkness, light,

angels, women,

cloths, stones,

emptiness and weeping.

All proclaim

this day,

first and last,

ending and beginning,

new life, new wine,

new body, new people.

Old clothes, old skin,

old ways, old habits,

left behind

to gather dust

while resurrection takes hold,

holds sway

and moves on the world.

This is the day

of resurrection.

He is not here.

He has been raised

and he goes ahead to meet us.

Story, dreaming,

past, present,

turn and spin

on this moment

as an empty tomb,

folded cloths,

bright angels

and faithful followers

declare Christ risen,

spring come,

new life for heaven and earth.

Glory be to God for the dawn of this day.

Glory be to God for the rising of the Son.

Glory be to God for the fresh Spirit of life. Amen

Hymn: 1072 In Christ alone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWiFYJMGas0

Grace