Easter Sunday Service 2020
Everyone is asked to pray and read this service as an act of worship and solidarity together at 10.0a.m.
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Welcome to a short service this Easter day. We are not gathered in Church today, but instead we recall that first Easter Morning when the disciples were mostly hidden at home, wondering what on earth was happening to their world.
In that confusion, dread and bewilderment- in our own confusion, dread and bewilderment- Christ is Risen! Alleluia
Let us pray:
God of glory,
by the raising of your Son Jesus
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
in our Saviour Jesus Christ
So, in the light of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection, let us confess our sins.
The response when I say Lord Hear and help us is:
Lord Hear and help us.
Jesus Christ, risen Saviour
we come to you in sorrow for our sins,
and confess to you our weakness and unbelief.
We have lived by our own strength,
and not by the power of your resurrection.
In your mercy, forgive us.
Lord, hear us and help us.
Lord, hear us and help us.
A prayer of forgiveness
May the God of love and power
forgive us and free us from your sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,
and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord
Gospel of St John 20 – vv 1 – 18
20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look[a] into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,[b] “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because 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.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
Jesus said to her “Mary” – Verse 16 of our Gospel reading today.
The disciples had laid Jesus in the tomb and went away to their homes uncertain as to their future. They were anxious and afraid, fearful for their own security and well-being. Jesus was dead. The grand project to share the love of God was over.
Despair must have overwhelmed them. Jesus was dead, lying in a tomb having breathed his last breathe. “End of” as they say in the movies.
Mary went to the tomb on Easter morning – as an act of will, to confirm what must have seemed like a dreadful nightmare. Jesus was dead.
She was confronted by yet further distress – the tomb was open and the body of Jesus gone, a final humiliation and indignity.
Later she remains by the tomb weeping -when the others have all gone away.
“Mary” – within one short word and second of time she was confronted with confusion. Was she dreaming it – was someone calling her by her name with a voice she knew so well. Was it a fantasy as part of her grief and denial? Was someone really calling her name? She must have doubted her sanity.
“Mary” - She turns, and there he is the carpenter Messiah who she mistakes for the gardener – but soon realises who it is, who is speaking.
Today amidst the tomb of ‘lockdown Britain’ God whispers our name in that still small voice of Psalm 46. “I am still here” – I have not left you or deserted you.
In the midst of this pandemic when ‘normal’ has changed beyond all recognition, God is God – the same yesterday, today and forever. There is no “happy ever after” to this pandemic – and we can only go through it and not round it.
On this Easter Day 2020 be assured God beckons us to live in fellowship with him – forever! He has not deserted us. He is among us and with us all even when we cannot gather as his people.
Prayer – Said by everyone in their homes.
Almighty God who once said
“I am with you always.” give us this Easter Day
the assurance of that truth as you speak our name
***( Say your name out Loud).
We bless you for your Son’s life and death,
and new life.
We pray for your world afflicted by sorrow and disease
and give thanks for all seeking to work for the common good
Of all at this difficult time.
Bless them and bless our families this day.
The Grace – said aloud
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all,
now and for ever. Amen
Easter Day 2020 : - During Coronavirus outbreak. Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A5bnI6lPmY