Worship at Home - Easter Sunday 2020

Easter Sunday, 12th April 2020, 10:30am
Colossians 3:1-4 & Matthew 28:1-20

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use while we are unable to attend church.  Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

Call to Worship: Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed alleluia!

Hymn: Christ the Lord is Risen today (Singing the Faith StF 298)

Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or join in with this version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSs4_vc0pq0

OR “See what a morning”  (StF 309) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xM-fpXayUg

Opening Prayers

Let us pray together,

Resurrection God, you offer life overcoming death, love overcoming emptiness, light overcoming darkness.

I give you thanks for the hundred small and powerful ways I experience resurrection every day.

Thank you for Jesus, who shows us how
to live as a resurrection people,
living defiant and in resistance to death.

For those times when I have failed to challenge the things of death, the political systems, relationships, selfish desires,
I’m sorry.

For those times when I have failed to resist death and ignored your call to live the life I am gifted, I’m sorry.

I trust that you forgive me, I hear your forgiveness intertwined with your call to me to live the life I am gifted, and I trust that you are merciful in all ways.  

Amen.

From your Bible read: Colossians 3:1-4

“You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right side of God. Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory!” (Good News Translation)

Also read: Matthew 28:1-20

Reflection:

Richard writes…
Time and again God’s power breaks into the affairs of human beings.

Interestingly according to all the Gospel writers, no one actually witnesses the resurrection itself – the moment at which Jesus appears from the grave.

Matthew writes that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. In Mark’s gospel they go with spices to anoint the body of Jesus but without thinking about how they were going to move the huge stone away from the entrance.

Then there is the description of the earthquake: the angel descending from heaven and rolling the stone away and sitting on it.

What a wonderful picture, what an emphatic action! – almost as if the angel wants to say – “there, so you thought a heavy stone could stand in the way of God’s purposes?” or “You thought that a physical barrier could prevent you from meeting with the risen Jesus” or “something within tells you that there seem to be many experiences and circumstances which are obstacles to a deeper relationship with God”

The angel sits atop the stone and shouts to all who will listen and says, “There are no barriers, no obstacles, nothing at all in life and death which prevents us from knowing the risen Jesus”.

We note that even now, the two women still do not actually see Jesus appear from the grave for the angel does not role the stone away so that Jesus can be let out but so that the women can see that Jesus is not there.

And then the angel speaks to the women – “Do not be afraid – he has been raised – go quickly and tell his disciples – and now he is going to Galilee ahead of you”

This is not the first time we find a prediction about where Jesus will be found – look back to Matthew 26:32: Where Jesus predicts Peter’s denial “This very night all of you will run away…..but after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you”

Galilee was the region where Jesus spent most of his time in ministry. And it is to Galilee now that the angel directs his followers and it is to Galilee that Jesus himself instructs the women to direct his disciples to.

And it will be somewhere which is very familiar to his followers.

Perhaps we find that surprising – where has your search for God taken you?

Has it taken you to a dead end… such as the journey the Mary’s took to the place where bodies were buried when they went to look at the tomb… to linger at the place where they knew Jesus’ body had been seen last?

For them – the place of death remained where it was and it was as they set out on their journey to Galilee that Jesus appeared to them and pointed them towards a place of new life.

The angel points the women away from the tomb and our faith rests on this statement – “He is not here – he has risen”

And surprisingly, that place of new life was ‘home’ for them – in a place they knew so well and yet it was also the place of new beginnings, of fresh starts, of ‘sending out’ to the rest of the world.

Song: All heaven declares (StF 293)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPkZAjA610k

A time of prayer:

Resurrection God,
I bring before you now my hopes, desires, needs and concerns and I trust that you hear me and help me.

For your church, a people of resurrection; frightened, weary, hopeful –
may we all know your love empowering us to live the life we are gifted.

For your world, a people and creation; frightened, weary, determined –
may we all know your love empowering us to live the life we are gifted.

For your vulnerable ones, the sick, the grieving, the isolated; frightened, weary, loved –
may we all know your love empowering us to live the life we are gifted.

I especially want to pray for …..

Resurrection God,

These are my prayers, my hopes, desires, needs and concerns and I trust that you hear me and help me.

Help me to be your hands, your feet, your voice in all those situations and with all those people who need to know your gift of life. Amen.

Our Father ……

 

Hymn: Thine be the Glory (StF 313)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPjTfw4a2ZE

OR “He has risen”  (StF 302) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-76X_ywFwG4

A Prayer of Blessing:

May you know life rising from the death,
May you know hope rising from the pain,
May you know light rising from the darkness,
May you know and live love,
May you know and live the life you are gifted with.  Amen

 

Message – Deacon Richard Beckett
Material from Singing the Faith Plus worship at home resource.
Order of service leaflet compiled by Revd Phil Snelson