Easter Sunday Worship Sheet
Words by Revd. David Burrow
Pause and light a candle to welcome Easter Sunday!
The night has been long, but now the morning is here. Be with us, loving Lord.
Let us go to the garden where our Lord is laid. Go with us, leading Lord.
We come to the place, but he is not there. Be with us, surprising Lord.
The stone is moved, the tomb empty. Be with us, risen Lord.
We hear the words, ‘He is not here. He is risen!’
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Photo by Bruno Van Der Kraan via Unsplash
MP 76 Christ the Lord is risen today; hallelujah!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15dmjnB8FZU (listen for the trumpets!)
Glory to you, O God: You raised Jesus from the grave, bringing us victory over death and giving us eternal life.
Glory to you, O Christ:
for us and for our salvation you overcame death and opened the gate to everlasting life.
Glory to you, O Holy Spirit: you lead us into the truth and breathe new life into us.
Glory to you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
If we have fallen into despair, Lord, forgive us.
If we have failed to hope in you, Lord, forgive us.
If we have been fearful of death, Lord, forgive us.
If we have forgotten the victory of Christ, Lord, forgive us.
May the living God raise us from despair, give us victory over sin and set us free in Christ. Amen.
MP 453 Low in the grave he lay
Bible Reading: Luke 24:1-12
Offer your own prayers of intercession for the world, the church and yourself and your loved ones.
The Lord’s Prayer
MP 881 Lord I lift your name on high
Photo by Jonas Weckschmied via Unsplash
The hours of darkness had passed. As the sun broke through the early morning mist the women approached the tomb. Luke doesn’t mention the soldiers but the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty! Someone must have stolen the body! Perhaps darkness had won after all?
Suddenly men in dazzling clothes appeared beside them and gently chided them, asking seemingly impossible questions and making crazy claims. “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” He is not here, but has risen.” Terrified, the women bowed to the ground only to be reminded that Jesus had spoken of these things when he was with them. So, filled with awe and wonder they left to tell the disciples - who didn’t believe them. Peter, however, went to check the tomb for himself. Could it be true? Had darkness been victorious or was Jesus really alive? Did he dare to believe it was true?
Photo by Paul Zoetemeijer via Unsplash
The Lenten journey is not easy one for anyone who takes it seriously. How much more difficult for Jesus. Jesus willingly took on a task that he knew would lead him into deeper and deeper conflict with both the religious and political authorities of his day. The outcome would surely be either death or glory! Now, there's a phrase that’s well known in the land of heroes and villains.
In the face of enemy powers, the choice seems obvious, it’s either death or glory, darkness or light, but not both.
Jesus does not see it that way. In the Garden of Gethsemane, even as he confesses how deeply troubled his soul is, he sees his death as the moment of glory! "The hour has come," he says, "for the Son of Man to be glorified", and the hour is the hour of his death. Only through the death of Jesus on the cross, can the powers of evil be defeated. Only as Jesus is lifted up on the cross will he be able to, "draw all people" to himself. It is only through his self-sacrifice that the way to God will again be open for all who are willing to serve Christ.
"Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." [John 12:24]
Through death there is a harvest, through the cross there is a crown. It is in the darkness when all hope seems lost that new life begins, and the light starts to break through.
On Easter Sunday Jesus was raised triumphant, victorious over the powers of sin and death. Today Jesus reigns in glory, and although Jesus won the victory over sin and death alone, he longs for us to share in his victory. If we are willing to take up our cross and follow Christ, we too will receive a crown.
Jesus healed a man who was born blind (John 9). This man had to decide: would he stay in the dark or follow the light? if he chose Jesus he would be thrown out of the synagogue and his community. What should he do? He decided to leave the darkness, both physically and spiritually behind. He knew that there is no crown without a cross.
The cross we bear may be easy and light, or it may be painful and heavy.
Photo by Aaron Burden via Unsplash
Many throughout the history of Christianity have followed Jesus to the death. Those of you who have left family and friends behind for Jesus know the reality of persecution and the power of darkness. Thank you for coming among us and teaching us about the cost of faith. Together we know the one who is the Light of the world and we believe, with Paul, that,
"the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us". [Romans 8:18]
To share in the sufferings of Christ, is to share in his glory. There is no crown without a cross. To share in the sufferings of Christ means that we can look forward, with a sure and certain hope, to our own resurrection to eternal life. Simply because, on that first Easter Sunday, not only was the cross empty, but so was the tomb!
Great news indeed! Darkness had had its hour. The powers of sin and death, the powers of darkness, have been defeated! The relationship between God and humanity is restored
From darkness to light
From death to life – what a victory!
ALLELUIA! CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!
‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.’ John 1:5
Photo by Zachary Olsen via Unsplash
MP 689 Thine be the glory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPH7-dNrwb8 Kings College Choir
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaoV5w2Qfag Church Congregation