Easter Morning     12 April 2020

This Joyful Eastertide

Loving, heavenly Father,

on this Easter morning, we remember all those around Kirkcudbright,

around the Stewartry, and around our land

who join with us to remember the Women who found the empty tomb.

We remember the message they had to give -

'The Lord Has Risen.'

 

May it be, O Lord, the song in our hearts, the prayer on our lips,

the gladness in our worship - 'The Lord Has Risen' - and He lives in me.

How we thank you, Lord Jesus, for the earliest days

in which you came to life in our lives;

when first our eyes were opened,

when joy arose within us,

and we  began to see.

This was our first morning,

your Word coming alive within us,

your Spirit lifting our spirits into a new day.

May your Peace and Presence be with us now

and with all those who worship with us now

wherever they are.

This is our Easter prayer, in your name,

Amen.

Sunrise over Galilee

The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid.  Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.  The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for 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 handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words,  and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.  Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles.

Luke 24

It was Mary from Magdala, Joanna, the wife of Chuza, James' mother and others who had walked with Jesus on the roads of Galilee and comforted his mother while they watched him suffering - they went to prepare his body with spices and first heard the Good News that turned the world and  changed their lives - 'The Lord Has Risen'.

 

It was the women who throughout the gospels were quiet, and in the background, who provided from their resources and sat at his feet, who listened and remembered his words - it was they who first proclaimed to the other disciples the Easter message - 'The Lord Has Risen'.

 

 But these words seemed to them an idle tale,

and they did not believe them.

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in,

he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home,

amazed at what had happened.

Luke 24

 

That first Easter morning was not a time of rejoicing and gladness but of amazement, fear, puzzlement and disbelief. Thomas was not the only disciple who struggled to believe.

Nor did they celebrate the forgiveness of their sins or the redemption revealed through the  Cross. They still had much to remember and much to have revealed to them.

The next seven weeks were filled with uncertainty and revelation, doubt and interpretation but gradually Jesus closest disciples, the men and the woman who walked with him in Galilee, began to understand that in his death and rising to new life the world had changed for ever. The ancient Promises given to Abraham were now fulfilled; the Kingdom had come and God's will had been done.

 

Lord Jesus, you died on the cross that we might be set free;

you have breathed your Spirit into our hearts

that we, too, might rise into new life;

all the chains that bind us to the earth,

all the regrets we carry from yesterday,

the disappointments that make our hearts heavy:

Jesus come. Come and set us free.

On this Easter morning. Lord, set us free again.

 

We prayer for our loved ones - may your Presence comfort them;

we remember those who mourn and worry - may your Spirit be with them;

we pray for those who work in the hospitals and care homes,

the emergency services, the shops and transport,

who keep on going in this time of crisis.

Lord for them all, and those we name quietly now -

Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.

May the Peace of the Lord Jesus

the Love of God the Father

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with us all.

Amen.

This joyful Eastertide,
away with care and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
hath sprung to life this morrow.


Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne'er burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now is Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen, arisen.


Death's flood hath lost its chill,
since Jesus crossed the river:
Lover of souls, from ill
my passing soul deliver,


Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne'er burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now is Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen, arisen.


My flesh in hope shall rest,
and for a season slumber,
till trump from east to west
shall wake the dead in number.


Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne'er burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now is Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen, arisen.