Easter Sunday, 12 April 2020 – Matt 28:1-10, Zephaniah 3:12-20, Romans 6:3-11 Consider yourselves dead to the power of sin and alive to God.

Easter Sunday, 12 April 2020

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

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, by your life-giving Spirit, be delivered from sin and raised from death; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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Easter Song – The California Baptist University Choir and Orchestra

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A Reading from the Gospels: Matt 28:1-10 (NLT)

The Resurrection

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
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A Reading from the Old Testament: Zephaniah 3:12-20 (NLT)

The Faithful Remnant

Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.

The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.”

Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the Lord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be,

“Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

“I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
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Raise a Hallelujah -Bethel Music

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Easter Prayer:  [Prayers for Easter Sunday by Richard Ledger]

‘God is unchanging.
Let nothing disturb you, nothing alarm you;
while all things fade away, God is unchanging.
Be patient and you will gain everything: for with God in your heart,
nothing is lacking. God meets your every need.’
(St Theresa of Avila)

‘Tell of that glorious Easter morn: empty the tomb for He was free.
He broke the power of death and hell
that we might share his victory.’
(verse from the hymn by Edward J Burns)

Lord, we praise you for today, the ultimate game-changer with the world turned – upside -down by the resurrection of Jesus which seals the ultimate victory of love and light over hatred and darkness.

We pray for the Church, that all Christians may be aware of your rich presence in our lives. We pray for every scattered  congregation and thank you for the compassion and web of calls that keep us connected to each other and to you and shed light and hope in our hearts.

Christ Jesus, risen in glory
Scatter the darkness from our hearts and from your world.

Lord Jesus, we bring to you all leaders and their advisers at this uncertain time for the whole world. We pray for our President and all government officials and advisers. Equip them to lead and to listen and to act honestly and with humility and compassion as they seek to cope with the present and plan for the future.

Christ Jesus, risen in glory
Scatter the darkness from our hearts and from your world.

We pray, loving Lord, for all who serve us – all the key workers from delivery drivers and shelf stockers to those who work in our health care system as well as research scientists. As they seek in different ways to bring hope and healing we ask that you will continue to encourage and energize them as they go ‘above and beyond’ on our behalf.

Christ Jesus, risen in glory
Scatter the darkness from our hearts and from your world.

Risen Lord, we bring to you our loved ones. For many of us there is fear, doubt and uncertainty just as there was for your disciples. You came to them, risen, alive to offer them peace. Thank you that your peace reaches out to us today even in life’s fiercest storms. May we all know that we are always held in the embrace of your love.

Christ Jesus, risen in glory
Scatter the darkness from our hearts and from your world.

Finally, we rejoice in the glory of our Risen Lord and give thanks for all the Saints who have shared in his victory over the grave and death. Jesus is the light of the world: a light which eternally shines and brings hope, that no darkness can extinguish We commend all who have died to your eternal love and care, remembering especially all victims of this pandemic.

Christ Jesus, risen in glory
You turn our darkness into light: in your light shall we see light.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

A Reading from the Epistles: Romans 6:3-11 (NLT)

Have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that s (2013)in might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
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Messiah Hallelujah -Flash Mob at Brent Cross Shopping Centre

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Closing: Romans 6:9-11 (NLT)

Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Easter Sunday, 21 April 2019: Colossians 3:1-4, Luke 24:1-12 ~ He is risen from the dead!

Easter Sunday

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

God of everlasting life, by your mighty hand you raised up your beloved Son Jesus Christ from the grave, and appointed him judge of the living and the dead. Grant that we who joyfully celebrate his resurrection may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit, and experience the pardon and peace that you so freely offer. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, firstborn from the dead, who lives with you now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Easter Song” – Glad – Acappella

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A Reading from the Letters: Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT)

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
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“Endless Alleluia” – Bethel Music | VICTORY

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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 24:1-12 (NLT)

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.

The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”

Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.
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Intercessions:

O God our Savior and Redeemer: Your love for us never ends. As we celebrate your power to make all that is dead come to life, hear our prayers….

+ For all who have been newly baptized around the world, that they may always walk in the light of Christ… Lord, guide them.
+ For all believers around the world in every circumstance, that we may live in hope and love…. Lord, empower us.
+ For all believers who are suffering the effects of war and terror, that they may live in security and peace…. Lord, protect them.
+ For all who are in need of support and love, that believers everywhere may care for them…. Lord, comfort them.
+ For all who are deprived of the basic necessities of life – food, clothing, and shelter, that believers everywhere may help them…. Lord, provide for them.
+ For all who are estranged from families, friends and loved ones, that they may be reconciled…. Lord, grant them your peace.

O God our Savior and Redeemer: You lead your people from defeat to triumph, from death to life; hear our prayers and grant us your peace, through Christ our risen Lord. Amen.
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“Resurrecting” – Praise And Harmony Singers

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Benediction:

May Almighty God, who is making all things new through Jesus Christ our Lord – resurrect everything that is dead in our lives through the power of his Spirit that is at work within us; until at last we enter into the peace and joy of everlasting life.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

The Resurrection of the Lord: Acts 10:34, 37-43; Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9 ~ Alive!

The Resurrection of the Lord

+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening prayer:

God of undying life, by Your mighty hand You raised up Jesus from the grave and appointed Him judge of the living and the dead. Grant to those baptized into His death the power flowing from His resurrection, that we may proclaim near and far the pardon and peace You give us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, firstborn from the dead, who lives with You now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 10:34, 37-43 (NLT)

Resurrection of Christ  by Noel Coypel, 1700 Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen
Resurrection of Christ
by Noel Coypel, 1700
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen

Then Peter replied,

“You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching his message of baptism. And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

“And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all — the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 (NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Let all Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
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The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done.
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The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
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A Reading from the Letters: Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT)

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 20:1-9 (NLT)

emptytomb

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed — for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.
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Intercessions:

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love has no end! He answered the prayers of His Beloved Son: He will help us in our needs too.

+ That all those who have been baptized around the world this Easter may always walk in the light of Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all Christians who celebrate Christ’s resurrection may have lives full of faith, hope and love…. Lord, hear us.
+ That our brothers and sisters who face persecution for their faith in Christ may receive gifts of courage and hope…. Lord, hear us.
+ That our church leaders may inspire the world and lift our hearts to You – the living God…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those for whom faith is irrelevant may hear and believe the Good News of the life, death and resurrection of our Savior…. Lord, hear us.
+ That people in need of support and love may experience God’s care through the Christians around them…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those who have died in Christ may share the glory of the resurrection…. Lord, hear us.

God our Redeemer, You lead Your people from defeat to triumph: grant our prayers, through Christ our Risen Lord. Amen.
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Benediction:

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5b-6)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen