Easter Sunday - 12 April


CHRIST IS RISEN

HE IS RISEN INDEED, ALLELUIA 

You can join our Festival Mass at 10.30 am on https://zoom.us/j/850453964

The order of service for this main Easter service is available as a download here

This joyful Eastertide, away with sin and sorrow ….

Now is the time to remind ourselves that God brings hope out of despair and new life out of death.

This Easter Sunday, the Easter Fire was set and the Pascal Candle  lit in a short form Dawn Service which was livestreamed at 5:30am and can be seen (right).

Although we won’t be having our traditional  renewal of Baptismal vows (an accompanying drenching with Holy Water) we will be blessing the Easter Light.  For this service please have a candle to hand and something to light it with.

But that's not all - our Easter morning pram service will be available at 8am on Zoom on this link - https://zoom.us/j/523536110.

Sunday school will also be running for a special Easter session at 9:30am on https://zoom.us/j/578055716 with a password available from the newsletter.

 



Sunday 12th April 2020

Easter Sunday

 

CHRIST IS RISEN.

HE IS RISEN INDEED, ALLELUIA

This joyful Eastertide, away with sin and sorrow ….

Now is the time to remind ourselves that God brings hope out of despair and new life out of death. Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness.

 

Readings

Acts 10.34-43

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favouritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

 

Matthew 28:1-10

Jesus Has Risen

28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

 

Sermon

It is morning, on the first day of the week, but the normal routine has been disrupted by loss & grief.  And so, instead of heading to work as usual, the women go to the tomb.

Perhaps to mourn, to grieve the loss not just of a son, a dear friend, but also the loss of their hopes and the hopes of their community.  All that had been stretching before them, all that they had hoped for, lies buried.

But, heigh ho, that’s life: full of disappointments, rife with injustice & death, the strong oppress the weak and exploit the poor and yet (so long as we have tinned goods and loo roll) we get over it and life goes on.

It’s what we expect, to just keep on keeping on. We don’t expect God to break into our lives and shout STOP, could you just please stop.

But here on Easter morning the women experience something just like that; they are confronted by a kind of angelic superhero who shakes the earth and throws rocks around and then has a go at them.

The English translation reads politely: “do not be afraid”. The original Greek is a bit more testy: “as for you, you, stop being afraid”. 

I love the Greek because of energy and feeling it carries:  “Would you just, quit it, get over yourselves”, but also because it implies that they should stop being afraid not of the angel but of everything.

They need to stop being afraid of death, of violence, of power, they need to stop being afraid that life will not return to normal.

Maybe they would not be afraid if this powerful divine being was around when they needed it. What is the point of it throwing rocks and terrifying Roman guards when it did not appear to uproot the cross and end the bloodshed?

Isn’t this our question too as our normal routine has been disrupted by disease and fear and death and our hopes, and the hopes of so many, are being laid low.

What is the point of a God who can raise the dead if she doesn’t get stuck in when you need her.  Where is the divine in all this? Where is the power of God that shakes the earth and yells at us to STOP.

The angel tells us where: not here.  Not in the place where you buried him after you’d killed him.  He has gone ahead of you.  Now go, follow. 

He’s gone, we’re told, back to Galilee.  Back to the very beginning, where it all started.  Now go, follow.

After all they have been through, all they have worked for, all they have sacrificed, all they have suffered, they cannot return to life as normal instead they are to go and start all over again.

For real?

All over again?

All we want is for the disruption to end and to get back to life as normal.

But what if, what if, normal is not what we should be getting back to? What if, now that this pandemic has shaken us into awareness of the extent of inequality, oppression, discrimination, exploitation and greed in our world we are being called to go and begin again?

To start over, in a radically different way: a way which does not involve the one being sacrificed for the many or being sacrificed at all.  A way that does not prioritise the needs of my tribe over your tribe, or our success over yours.  A way that does not lead to one country having 30,000 ventilators when another has one, literally just one.

The hopes that Jesus’ followers had before his crucifixion were after all too small: they wanted their nation to throw off the yoke of their oppressors, they wanted their people to experience freedom and victory.

To return to normal is too small a thing to hope for.   God’s hopes are way bigger.

The Easter story is not about the resurrection of one individual, or one nation, it is about the resurrection of all God’s people. 

This Easter Day: this morning, on the first day of the week, our normal routine has definitely been disrupted, open your eyes and your ears and hear that indignant angel shouting: stop, would you just stop.  Stop being afraid and go, follow, begin again.

Brothers and sisters, friends and neighbours: it’s a beautiful day, let’s go.

  

Prayers

 

Almighty God, who through your only‑begotten Son Jesus Christ

overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection,

may be raised from the death of sin by your life‑giving Spirit;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

A Poem- His love

“His love

God sent His Son to take the punishment

For all the thoughtless, sinful things we do;

Jesus gave his life because He loves us;

His love is boundless, sweet, forever true.

On Easter morn He showed He is our Savior;

His resurrection proves He is our Lord.

That is why we tell you,

“Happy Easter

 

Ċ
Church Office,
11 Apr 2020, 13:26