This Week’s Theme
Christ is Risen!
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken from the tomb. Mary ran and told Simon Peter and John that someone had taken the Lord from the tomb, and “we do not know where he is laid.” They ran to the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying there and the face cloths, and returned to their homes, not yet understanding the Scriptures regarding Jesus’s resurrection.
Mary, however, stood weeping outside the tomb. As she cried, she stooped to look into the tomb, and saw two angels in white, sitting where Jesus’s body lay, one at the head and the other at the feet. They asked her why she wept, and she replied that they have taken away her Lord and she did not know where they laid him. On saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. He asked her why she wept, and supposing him to be the gardener, she said, “if you have carried him away, tell me where he is now and I will take him away.”
At that moment, Jesus said to her, “Mary.” Mary turned and said to the Lord in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
On hearing this from Jesus, Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” – and that he had said these things to her. In the simplest language possible, Mary Magdalene testified to the disciples the foundational truth of Christian belief. As an eyewitness of the risen Christ, her statement, along with the apostles’ witness, would form the heart of Christian confession and standard of Christian faith – “I have seen the Lord.” Christ is risen, he is risen, indeed!
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Glory to you, O God: on this day you won victory over death, raising Jesus from the grave 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. Glory to you, O Blessed Trinity, now and forever. Amen.
~ 266 (The Book of Common Worship, p. 315)
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
Wednesday: Pss. 50; 73-74
Psalm: Ps. 118.1-2, 14-24
Acts*: Acts 10.34-43
Gospel: John 20.1-18
NT: Col. 3.1-4
(Click here for all readings)
*During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.
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
O Lord God Almighty, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ did on the third day rise triumphant over death: Raise us, we beseech thee, from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he sitteth on thy right hand in glory; and this we beg for the sake of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Bishop Dowden (Suter, p. 22)
Affirmation for the Day
The earliest eyewitnesses testified to one another, “We have seen the Lord!”
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, you are risen, back from the dead, alive evermore. You are risen! You are risen, indeed!
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
You Will Not Abandon My Soul, Psalm 16
Barrett, None Greater
Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Wednesday, April 15, 2020