He is Risen - Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

The sun is shining and we were welcomed at church this morning with a wonderful display of yarn bombing on the railings! Thank you to all those who crocheted and knitted the hearts and crosses and the letters for the word FAITH.

Julie our Pastor has prepared this service for Easter Sunday, those who attended witnessed the baptism of Sandra.

Easter is a wonderful festival which reinforces our faith.

Opening words: Matthew 28:6

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

Hymn the Power of the Cross


Prayers and Lord’s Prayer

In our mind’s eye, we behold our feet in sandals, heads bowed in sorrow as we walk a dusty path in cool morning air. The scent of the embalming spices we carry wafts around us, the texture of the linen rolls clamped between arm and body smooth to the touch. Ahead of us looms the tomb. We lift our eyes to face the cold stone at its mouth, the boundary between life and death.

But it is not there – the boundary has been breached. He is risen! Alleluia!

God of resurrection, ever renewing, ever reviving, we adore you for your life-giving presence. Son of Man, newly risen, sorrow made joy, we adore you for your sacrificial living and dying. Holy Spirit, breezing among us this Easter morn, we adore you for breathing new life into us. Amen.

Bible Readings

John 20:1-18 and 1 Corinthians 15.1-11

Hymn See what a morning


Comment on Bible Readings

Have you ever not recognised someone who you thought you knew so well? I went for a walk the other day with a friend and met someone, who from a distance said ‘Oh I didn’t recognise you -with your longer hair from a distance!’ Then this week, when getting some takeaway at Thurlaston garden centre with my friends a former student was working there. I said Hello and she said ‘I didn’t recognise you with your hair and the mask’ So it is easy when we are not expecting to see people to not recognise them. Mary was not expecting to see Jesus, so she didn’t recognise him. My student only knew me when I spoke her name. If you hadn’t said my name I’d never have known.’

Perhaps you have had an experience like that. It’s not that uncommon. Your mind is elsewhere. Or you see someone in a place, a setting, where you did not expect to see them. So you don’t make the connection, not at first. But then you hear your name…and everything changes. Even if only for a little while.

I wonder if we can imagine what it would have been like on that first Easter Sunday, we, who 2000 years later have the knowledge of the resurrection, Mary did not have that and blinded by tears and her heart torn in two she did not ‘see’ Jesus.

We are in this place, thousands of miles and thousands of years away from that tomb, trying to make sense of something that much of the world around us dismisses as fantasy (or worse). Can we prove it? No. Can we show the evidence. No. At least not in a way that would satisfy a modern investigation. We know in our hearts, but we cant prove that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and is alive and lives for evermore.

And yet…here we are, in this place, thousands of miles and thousands of years away from that tomb, confidently proclaiming – as we do again and again – ‘He is risen!’

We are in a touching place – a place where our lives touch a mystery that we cannot fully understand or explain. But it is a place where hope is real. A place where we catch a glimpse of a different world, a world where our God reigns, and things that we can only dream of, are not only possible but actually happening. What was it he said? I have come to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, sight to the blind, freedom for the oppressed…

This is the reality of the resurrection, he has come to give us life. We are called to live that life to the full. We are free, not bound by all the rules and regulations of the world, not bound by all the trappings of what being a human is, trying to keep up with the ‘Jones’’. Our life is worth so much it precious to God and He has redeemed us and made us whole. We need not be afraid, for He will always walk with us. Let us never under-estimate the power of the cross and the resurrection. Today our heats should sing with joy, we should want to dance and laugh and be joyful in his presence. Noting was ever the same after the resurrection, the world changed for ever, we changed for ever when we welcomed the risen Lord into our lives. Let us now live in that resurrection joy, knowing our names are graven on His hands, knowing He will never let us go, knowing His Risen power in our lives. Let us be as Jesus intended us to be and let us live for Him.

And if we believe – if our ‘He is risen!’ is more than just an Easter quote, if it is real in our lives– if we explore and follow through on the implications and consequences of what we proclaim today – then the future hope starts to become a present reality. And it all began when Mary heard her name called and went and told someone else of her experience. Who are you going to tell?

Mary went to tell the disciples that she had seen the Lord. In the Gospel story, there is a marked contrast between Mary’s response to the empty tomb and that of the two male disciples. As soon as Mary finds it, she runs to tell others, then returns to the scene where she remains weeping. Peter and the other disciple, however, neither weep nor spread the news but simply go home. It feels as if they have turned their backs on the mystery – all that they ‘believed’, seemingly, was that the tomb was empty. Because Mary gives herself over entirely to the emotion of grief she stays by the tomb, and because she ‘stays with it’ she enters more deeply into the mystery – and encounters the risen Jesus. We too need to stay at the tomb today to encounter our Risen Lord, when the service ends let us not run off back to our homes, never to re-tell the experience, let us stay in the moment, at the tomb and then tell everyone you meet that today ‘He is Risen’ the day is special.


Hymn Christ the Lord is Risen Today



Resurrection God, to you this Easter Day we bring our prayers for those whose lives touch ours however constantly or fleetingly, for all are your children and for all of them you gave your life and this day give your rising.

We, with the world's people, have travelled a tough and painful pandemic year, sharing burdens, pains, fears, confusion, anger and death, and through it all you have walked with us. For all those who have not felt your presence, who do not feel your presence, did not feel your guiding hand, the warmth of your breath, the calming of your words, the sureness of your step,

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

For those who have struggled with journeys: - actual journeys that have had to be made, for health and well-being, for escape and survival. - faith journeys that have been sorely tested, with familiarity of surroundings changed, with companionship parted, new worship methods explored. - spiritual journeys and encounters that have inspired lives or taken them way beyond their comfort zone. - relationship journeys of loving or being loved, of not loving or not being loved, of changed roles and responsibilities.

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

For those who have struggled to simply hold life together, emotionally or financially. For those who have been on furlough, laid off, made jobless, those who have had to work longer, harder, deeper.

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

For those who have worked tirelessly through the year to provide us with the care we need across the health services and beyond. For scientists and doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff, porter, cooks, cleaners, admin staff.

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

For all those who are grieving the loss of family or friends whether through Covid or not. The pain of loss compounded by the pain of restrictions and isolation.

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

As we have read of political decisions that send Jesus to the cross, so we think of political decisions taken here, near and far away. In a global world of wealth and poverty, greed and generosity, may politicians be helped and supported, guided and strengthened to think not just of their own needs but the many needs of the wider world.

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

For countries torn apart by war and violence, insurrection, exploitation, natural disaster and deliberate destruction, for all their people caught up in events and conclusions way beyond their control. We think especially at this time of Myanmar and Mozambique and all their peoples.

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

For all people of faith, especially at this Eastertide, striving for peace and companionship, striving for harmony and meaning.

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

For those who we wish we could share with on this Easter Day, for our family members and friends who find themselves, once again, home alone with no-one to crack open the Easter egg with, with no one to marvel at the spring flowers and transforming butterflies with, with no one to laugh with as they watch gambolling lambs and sweet chirruping chicks

For them all in this moment: Resurrection God, we pray.

For this is Easter and you are our risen God and in you we trust, into your care we recommit ourselves and all those on our hearts day. Halleluijah, Halleluia, Amen.

Prayers For those on our prayer list and known to you personally

Baptism of Sandra


Will be observed, every person will bring their own bread with them and the wine will be available at the back of the church prepared 72 hours before in disposable glasses.

Hymn In Christ Alone