Easter Sunday ~ April 12, 2020 – “And They Were Afraid” Pastor Jordan Louks
Order of Worship Easter Sunday ~ April 12, 2020 Alexandria & Ethan UMC
Celebrant: Pastor Jordan Louks
Accompanist: Alyssa Warns
PRELUDE GREETING & INTRODUCTION
OPENING PRAYER God of life, through Jesus Christ you have bestowed upon the world the light of life. Sanctify this new fire, and grant that our hearts and minds may also be kindled with a holy desire to shine forth with the brightness of Christ’s rising, that we may attain to the feast of everlasting light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
LIGHTING THE CANDLES Leader: The light of Christ rises in glory, overcoming the darkness of sin, death, and violence.
ALL: Christ is our light!
OLD TESTAMENT READING Ezekiel 37:1-14 (CEB)
The Lord’s power overcame me, and while I was in the Lord’s spirit, he led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones. He led me through them all around, and I saw that there were a great many of them on the valley floor, and they were very dry. He asked me, “Human one, can these bones live again?” I said, “Lord God, only you know.” He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, Dry bones, hear the Lord’s word! The Lord God proclaims to these bones: I am about to put breath in you, and you will live again. 2 I will put sinews on you, place flesh on you, and cover you with skin. When I put breath in you, and you come to life, you will know that I am the Lord.” I prophesied just as I was commanded. There was a great noise as I was prophesying, then a great quaking and the bones came together, bone by bone. When I looked, suddenly there were sinews on them. The flesh appeared, and then they were covered over with skin. But there was still no breath in them. He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, human one! Say to the breath, The Lord God proclaims: Come from the four winds, breath! Breathe into these dead bodies and let them live.” I prophesied just as he commanded me. When the breath entered them, they came to life and stood on their feet, an extraordinarily large company. He said to me, “Human one, these bones are the entire house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished. We are completely finished.’ So now, prophesy and say to them. The Lord God proclaims: I’m opening your graves! I will raise you up from your graves, my people, and I will bring you to Israel’s fertile land. You will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you up from your graves, my people. I will put my breath in you, and you will live. I will plant you on your fertile land, and you will know that I am the Lord. I’ve spoken, and I will do it. This is what the Lord says.
Gospel READING Mark 16:1-8 (CEB)
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they could go and anoint Jesus’ dead body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb. They were saying to each other, “Who’s going to roll the stone away from the entrance for us?” 3 When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. (And it was a very large stone!) Going into the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right side; and they were startled. But he said to them, “Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised. He isn’t here. Look, here’s the place where they laid him. Go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” Overcome with terror and dread, they fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL
Leader: May God add a blessing to the reading and the hearing of these words of Holy Scripture.
People: Thanks be to God.
SERMON “And They Were Afraid” Pastor Jordan Louks
PRAYER RESPONSIVE SONGS “Christ Has Risen” & “In Christ Alone” “Christ Has Risen”
1. Christ has risen while earth slumbers, Christ has risen where hope died, as he said and as he promised, as we doubted and denied. Let the moon embrace the blessing; let the sun sustain the cheer; let the world confirm the rumor: Christ is risen, God is here!
2. Christ has risen for the people whom he died to love and save; Christ has risen for the women bringing flowers to grace his grave. Christ has risen for the disciples huddled in an upstairs room. He whose word inspired creation can’t be silenced by the tomb.
3. Christ has risen to companion former friends who fear the night, sensing loss and limitation where their faith had once burned bright. They bemoan what is no longer, they expect no hopeful sign till Christ ends their conversation, breaking bread and sharing wine.
4. Christ has risen and forever lives to challenge and to change all whose lives are messed or mangled, all who find religion strange. Christ is risen, Christ is present making us what he has been–evidence of transformation in which God is known and seen.
“In Christ Alone”
1. In Christ alone my hope is found, he is my light, my strength, my song. This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My Comforter, my all in all, here in the love of Christ I stand.
2. In Christ alone, who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe. This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones he came to save. ‘Til on that cross as Jesus died the wrath of man was crucified; for every sin that I may make, casted out, in Christ I live.
3. There in the ground, his body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain. Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave he rose again! And as he stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me. For I am his and he is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.
4. No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme or plan can ever pluck me from his hand. ‘Til he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand. No power of hell, no scheme or plan can ever pluck me from his hand. ‘Til he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
Leader: Christ is risen
People: Christ is risen indeed!
YOUNG DISCIPLES TIME “Hidden Promise”
THE LORD’S PRAYER
CLOSING SONG “Up from the Grave He Arose” UMH 322
1. Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior; waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord! Refrain: Up from the grave he arose, (he arose) with a mighty triumph o’er his foes; (o’er his foes) he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever, with his saint to reign. He arose! (He arose!) He arose! (He arose!) Hallelujah! Christ arose!
2. Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior, vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord! Refrain: Up from the grave he arose, (he arose) with a mighty triumph o’er his foes; (o’er his foes) he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever, with his saint to reign. He arose! (He arose!) He arose! (He arose!) Hallelujah! Christ arose!
3. Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior; he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord! Refrain: Up from the grave he arose, (he arose) with a mighty triumph o’er his foes; (o’er his foes) he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever, with his saint to reign. He arose! (He arose!) He arose! (He arose!) Hallelujah! Christ arose!
*Permission to stream the music in the service obtained from One License with license # A-732502.