Easter Sunday Home Worship
Sunday 12th April 2020 – Rev Charity Hamilton (Middlesbrough and Eston Circuit)
This short act of Easter worship has been produced for you if you are unable to attend church. If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you.
Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed - alleluia!
Hymn: Christ the Lord is Risen today
(Singing the Faith 298 – on the hymn sheet)
Sing/ Read /pray the words, or listen to this version by Maddy Prior & the Carnival Band:
Let us pray together:
Resurrection God, you offer life overcoming death, love overcoming emptiness, light overcoming darkness.
I give you thanks for the hundred small and powerful ways I experience resurrection every day.
Thank you for Jesus, who shows us how to live as a resurrection people, living defiant and in resistance to death.
For those times when I have failed to challenge the things of death, the political systems, relationships, selfish desires, I’m sorry.
For those times when I have failed to resist death and ignored your call to live the life I am gifted, I’m sorry.
I trust that you forgive me, I hear your forgiveness intertwined with your call to me to live the life I am gifted, and I trust that you are merciful in all ways. Amen.
Read Today’s Gospel Reading: John 20:1-18
Time to Reflect
Take a moment to think about:
The Easter story is one that is familiar to us, we know it so well but how do we live it? How do we live as resurrection, Easter Day people, the whole year round?
We are surrounded by death, and we are called to live as resurrection, Easter day people in the midst of death, how is that possible? How do we do that?
Easter isn’t just “happy”. Easter is much more powerful than happiness. Easter isn’t safe. Saying ‘Alleluia’ isn’t a passing pleasantry. Easter is the big shout of protest to all that is death. Easter is a defiant act against all that has tried to suppress life.
Easter is black Americans chanting “I can’t breathe” whilst those with white privilege often become deaf. Still they chant attempting to dispel death. That is Easter, it’s angry.
Easter is a young journalist from Northern Ireland, shot dead by terrorists but whose message of inclusion for the LGBTQI+ community continues to echo after her death. That is Easter, it is passionate.
Easter is the force of climate change protestors, trying to alert us all to the climate catastrophe about to happen, being arrested in their pursuit of the truth. That is Easter, it recognises truth. Truth is life.
Easter is the welcome we offer refugees who leave behind their home, fleeing violence and conflict for the increasing hatred and far right politic of the west. That is Easter, it is the love of welcome.
Easter is throwing off the grave clothes of death, not in a pretty delicate fashion but with power, with force, with strength. Easter is life beyond the things of death amidst the things of death.
It’s Easter, it is triumphant, it is victorious, it is persistent, it is angry, passionate, truth, life and love.
While I was ill, I claimed a phrase as my own and it was ‘live the life you are gifted’. By that I mean, whatever life you have - really live it,
So at Easter we talk about life winning over death, light over darkness, hope over despair. I invite you to really think about that life that you have been gifted, with whatever limitations you might have, and really embrace it, really live it. Resurrection is living the life you are gifted in the face of death.
We experience resurrection in a hundred small and powerful ways every day. And it all begins when we commit ourselves to live the life we are gifted as a form of strong resistance to death.
To live the life we are gifted as resurrection people, as an act of radical resistance to death.
Take a time to sit quietly and read or listen to this Taize chant: Bless the Lord, My Soul
Bless the Lord, my soul,
bless God's holy name.
Bless the Lord, my soul, who leads me into life.
Taize Music: Jacques Berthier
A time of prayer
Resurrection God, I bring before you now my hopes, desires, needs and concerns and I trust that you hear me and help me.
For your church, a people of resurrection; frightened, weary, hopeful – may we all know your love empowering us to live the life we are gifted.
For your world, a people and creation; frightened, weary, determined – may we all know your love empowering us to live the life we are gifted.
For your vulnerable ones, the sick, the grieving, the isolated; frightened, weary, loved – may we all know your love empowering us to live the life we are gifted.
I especially want to pray for …..
These are my prayers, our hopes, concerns, desires and needs and I trust that you hear me and will help me, help me to be your hands, your feet, your voice in all those situations and with all those people who need to know your gift of life. Amen.
Our Father ……
Hymn: Thine be the Glory
(Singing the Faith 313 – on the hymn sheet)
A prayer of blessing
May you know life rising from the death,
May you know hope rising from the pain,
May you know light rising from the darkness,
May you know and live love,
May you know and live the life you are gifted. Amen.