This Week’s Theme
Following Jesus’s crucifixion, at early dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday morning), Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb, bringing along spices they had prepared for the body of Jesus. When they arrived at the tomb, they found the large stone had been rolled away that had been placed at the entrance of the tomb. They went into the tomb to investigate, but did not find Jesus’s body within it.
While the women were perplexed about this, two men in dazzling apparel stood by them. The women were frightened, and bowed their faces to the ground. The men spoke to them, saying, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” The women then remembered that Jesus had spoken these words to them.
After this, the women returned to the apostles and their company. The women told the eleven and the rest of the disciples gathered together all the things they had witnessed and heard that morning, but disciples were skeptical as to their testimony. They viewed the women’s story as if it were an idle tale, and did not believe them. But, when Peter heard their story, he immediately rose and ran to the tomb, and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths that Jesus was wrapped in, lying by themselves. After seeing these things, Peter went home, marveling at what had happened.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O God, who by your on-begotten Son has overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life, grant us, we ask you, that we who celebrate the solemnities of our Lord’s resurrection may by the renewing of your Spirit arise from the death of the soul; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ The Gelasian Sacramentary (Bright, p. 54)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Saturday: Prov. 1-4
Lectionary Readings for Easter Morning
Psalm: Ps. 118.1-2, 14-24
Acts*: Acts 10.34-43
Gospel: Luke 24.1-12
NT: 1 Cor. 15.19-26
*During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.
Lectionary Readings for Easter Evening
Psalm: Ps. 114
OT: Isa. 25.6-9
Gospel: Luke 24.13-49
NT: 1 Cor. 5.6b-8
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
God of peace, you brought our Lord Jesus back from the dead to become the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant. Make us complete in everything good so that we do his will, working among us whatever is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
~ Storey, p. 166
Affirmation for the Day
We agree with Mary’s grateful claim: “I have seen the Lord!”
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Thanks be to God, for in the rising of his Son the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which will shine brighter and brighter until Christ’s full day.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Restored to Life
Metaxas, Martin Luther
Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Monday, April 22, 2019