Call to worship:
One: Let us come before the Lord with open hearts.
All: Let us bring our broken dreams, our conflicts and our grief.
One: For God is good and out of sorrow will come new gladness
All: The Lord will fill us again with power to sing with joyful hearts.
Prayer and Lord’s Prayer:
Dear Lord, help us follow the path that Jesus walked. Help us to learn what needs to be done, to serve others and to connect with our church and our community and to care for those who suffer. Help us to know ourselves, to share our gifts, to love one another and to seek and embrace peace. Now, as Jesus taught us, let us pray together: Our Father…
Presentation of offering:
Dear Lord, we give back to You in thankfulness what You have given to us in Kindness. We acknowledge that the world and its resources are not ours, and that You have put us in charge as Your trustees.
Help us to exercise responsibly the authority You give us in Your world. Let Jesus, Your son, be the pattern for all our dealings with one another ad with the rest of creation. Bless the gifts we now present back to You, so that they may be used in the work of your Kingdom on earth. Amen
1. 0 God, we appreciate Jesus Christ, who stirs us to good work. We recall that he healed the sick, taught the uninformed, preached to the uncommitted, worked in His father's carpenter shop, counsels individuals in trouble, and spoke out about the shortcomings of political and religious leaders of His day.
2. May we, as followers, be shaken out of our comfortable ways.
1. Help us evaluate our present situation in terms of our commitment to Christ.
2. May we work hard, giving our devotion to our jobs, our family and our lives, using our abilities fully knowing we serve You in our efforts.
1. Whenever we think of those who are sick, hungry, imprisoned, poorly clad or new to the community, may we hear again the voice of Jesus saying, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me."
2. May we accept our responsibility to the refugee, the orphan, the unemployed, the alcoholic, the unmarried mother and child, the victims of war, flood, tornado and fire, the sick, the lonely and the handicapped?
1. Help us to minister to those who are seeking purpose in life.
2. May we be worthy witnesses to the Christian gospel so that in our actions and words, people may sense a purpose greater than our own, which gives life significance.
1. 0 God, make us more like Jesus, who became a servant to all. Help us to do Your will without reservation and without complaint.
2. May we be given purpose, o Lord, so that in serving others we may know the pleasure of serving You as well.
They Meet in Galilee
“Meet in Galilee”, said Jesus to his eleven apostles, when He met with them in Jerusalem after his resurrection. He named a certain day and a certain mountain where to meet with Him. We don’t know exactly what day it was and we don’t know what mountain. It may have been the high mountain where Jesus was transfigured, or it may have been the mountain where He spoke the Beatitudes. We just don’t know, but it must have been some place rich in memories to Jesus and his disciples.
It seems that seven disciples went to Galilee together a few days before the appointed time. They were Simon Peter, John and James, Thomas and Nathaniel, and two other. Possibly they were Andre and Philip.
Peter was never one to stay idle. So, soon he said to the others, “I’m going fishing”. That had been his vacation before Jesus had called him to be his disciple. Andre, James and John ad possibly Philip, had also been fishermen.
They all agreed to go with Peter. They went out in the boat and fished all night, but they caught nothing. Just as the day was breaking, they saw a man standing on the shore, but they didn’t realize that is was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” And they answered, “No”
“Throw you net in on the other side of the boat”, Jesus said, “and you will find them”.
They did what Jesus asked and they found their net so full of fishes they couldn’t haul it in. Oh what a memory swept over them of the same miracle Jesus had done when He first called them. And John said to Peter, “It is the Master!”
When Simon Peter heard that, he put on his clothes, since he had taken them off in order to fish better, then he jumped into the sea and swam to shore to be with Jesus. The rest of the disciples followed in the boat, for they were about 100 yard from land, and they dragged the net full of fish.
When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire burning, with a fish laid on it, and there was also bread. Oh, what a holy happy picnic this was. Alone with Jesus on the shore in the early morning, and He, Jesus had started breakfast for them. It was a simple breakfast, but it looked good to hungry men. It had been 3 ½ years since Jesus had called them to be fishers of men. It seemed an age now, with such great deeds, and both terrible and glorious things happening in between. But here alone with their beloved Master, it all rolled off their shoulders, and they felt young and carefree again.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have caught”.
Peter went and drew the net on shore and the others went to help him. They found a hundred and fifty three great fishes they had caught.
“Come and have breakfast”, said Jesus, and he went and got some bread and gave it to them, along with more fish. Their Master waited on them again, reminding them of what He had said: “The Son of man has come, not to be served, but to serve. “the disciples sat and ate while Jesus talked.
When they had finished, Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these others?”
The other disciples looked at Peter- Peter had boasted that he would never desert Jesus, and then had gone and denied Him before men with cursing and swearing. Once peter, like all of them, had said he was the greatest. What would he say now?
Peter knew that he was being examined and he searched his heart. He had already deeply reported and he knew that he loved Jesus. But the burning question was, did he love Jesus more than the others? Once, Peter would have said that he did, but now he was more humble. Peter finally answered Jesus, saying, “Yes, Master, You know that I love You.”
And Jesus said, “Then feed my lambs,”
A little later, Jesus again again said to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?”
An again Peter answered, “Yes, Master, You know that I love you.” Then feed my sheep,” replied Jesus
Three times: “Feed my lambs, my sheep!” Peter was a fisherman; he knew how to catch fish. He remembered that Jesus had said when He called them from their fishing nets,” From henceforth you shall catch men.” But catching fish and even catching men was rough business. Peter had never been a shepherd, and he didn’t know how to care for sheep, how to save the lost ones, or how carefully and tenderly to feed the little ones. He had been a man’s man, ready to deal with grown people as he would haul fish, but knowing little and caring less for children. Lambs were so different from fish! Hadn’t he rebuked the mothers for bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed? Now Jesus was telling him to help and bless and teach the little ones.
Peter had been learning through the years as he lived and worked with Jesus, he remembered that Jesus had said, “I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” Yet at heart, peter was still a fisherman. Now he wasn’t going to catch fish anymore. Instead, he was going to feed the lambs. What a changed life for Peter! Would this make him become more like His Lord?
Jesus continued talking to Peter:” Peter, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and go where you pleased; but when you grow old, you will stretch your hands, and someone else will dress you and take you where you do not wish to go.” Jesus said this to show ho Peter’s spirit was to be made submissive, and the kind of death by which he would honour God. And afterward, he said to peter, “Follow me.”
It was time for the meeting that Jesus had appointed. The disciples probably took time to sell the fish first, or maybe old Zebedee did, In either case, we know that Jesus never let anything go to waste. They went to the mountain where they met the other disciples. James the less and his brother Jude, and , Matthew and Simon the Zealot.
Paul tells us the Jesus met with more than 500 disciples at one time, and this is probably that time. The word of this appointment, to meet on the mountain, had gone out from the disciples at Jerusalem. The faithful ones who had kept their hope in Jesus made their way to the place of the meeting.
Jesus had given instructions to the eleven when He met with them on the first night after the resurrection, telling them that they should go into all the world and preach the gospel. Now he repeated it in Full, not only to the apostles, but to all who had gathered there: “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go, then, to all the world, and carry the gospel to everyone. Baptize them ine the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to keep all the commandments I have given you. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And I will always be with you, even to the end of the world.”
If any of you today are wondering what following Jesus is all about, remember what he said to his disciples at the Last Supper after washing their feet:” I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Let us pray: O God, what are we called to be and do? Where would you have us go? Help us discuss purpose in our lives and respond as far as our faith lead us. Help us reach beyond immediate pleasures toward a more lasting goal. Help us see our lives in the perspective of Your love and will for us. This we earnestly pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen
As we leave this place, know that we never walk alone. Know the comfort of Christ walking beside us. Feel his presence each moment of each day,
Mark 16: 1-8
As I read the Easter story I wonder “Is there any significance to the huge stone that had sealed Jesus’ tomb?” “Could it have a message for us to help live in peace in this chaotic world?”
It seemed to have a prominent place in all four gospels-- it got me thinking about the spiritual and physical stones in people’s lives.
We all know about physical stones, remember as kids we collected stones of different sizes and colour-on beaches or along the railway track. As we got older we built stone fences, many still visible in the countryside. The early settlers surrounding Rockburn, took STONES FROM THE FIELDS they were clearing --to build the Rockburn church
We can imagine our ancestors picking-shaping-- lifting the stones in position-- mixing of cement to seal the stones in place --building strong walls.
They wanted this building to be a lasting TRIBUTE TO THEIR FAITH IN GOD, so stone was used to build the Rockburn Church that has remain the worship center for the community for over 150 years.
My reminiscing finally got back to the Easter Story and spiritual stones. What about “the huge stone used to seal the tomb?” could it have a message for us.
The gospel stories give powerful images of “rolling away the stone” from the tomb.
--an angel roll away the stone and sits on it.
--the guards fall asleep and a great earthquake rolls away the stone.
--Mark just says “it‘s already rolled away !”
Mark paints a dramatic scene in his Easter story when Mary and her friends go to the tomb. Remember that day,
The dawn light gets brighter,
suddenly Mary jumps out of bed,
“I have a job to do,” she mutters.
She quickly gathers the spices saved for Jesus’ burial.
Along the way she picks up her friend Salome and together they walk together quietly along the path.
-- They needed a lot of courage to set aside their fears and make this early trek to the tomb
-- constantly look over their shoulders making sure they are not being followed.
-- afraid they might be recognized as followers of Jesus and accused of treason.
As they approach the grave they wonder,
“Who will Roll Away the huge, heavy stone that sealed the tomb?” A good question!!!!
As we continue our walk with Mary and Salome to the grave and they approach the tomb, things seemed to have gone from bad to worse.
Much to Mary’s surprise, the huge stone they were so worried about was mysteriously rolled away from the entrance to the tomb.
“The Stone is rolled away.!!” exclaimed Mary.
-- First thought, “No, no not Grave robbers!”
They walk inside the tomb and it’s empty. There is nothing in the tomb! Where is Jesus’ body? This is too much!
The woman fall to the earth trembling their faces touch the cold earth.
As the women slowly get up, they look in each other’s faces. Could it be true?
MARY looks at SALOME saying “JESUS DID TELL US, BUT WE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND.” SALOME replies, “HE DID TELL US, BUT WE DIDN’T BELIEVE HIM.”
I was wondering “What if the stone was never rolled away!
How would a sealed tomb affect our Easter Story?
How would it affect our faith? Have you ever given it much thought?
What would Mary have done if the tomb was still sealed?
—well she could have asked the soldiers—the ones who put it there in the first place to help roll it away--she could have asked her friends to help move the stone-but let’s face it they were no longer in sight, they had all fled.
She could have, I suppose declared it impossible to roll away the huge stone, shrug her shoulders and simply walk away -- go home. But then …by leaving she never would have seen the gardener!
What if the stones we encounter in our lives are not rolled away—will they forever haunt us and keep us from living a full life?
I suppose, like Mary, we might have the same thoughts about breaking free from our tombs. We can call on the authorities-police or a Government Agency --seek help from our medical institutions, family doctor or CLSC—maybe we can confine in our closest friends, they might be able to help us--—or we can shrug our shoulders and struggle with life the best we can.
We all have known stones like that, stones that need to be rolled away-- the ones that sit in our throats to hold back the flood of tears--stones that sit in our stomachs and weigh us down with fear. The ones we hide behind, to keep our insecure selves safe. Then, in anger or desperation there’s the stones we would like to throw.
We all face many obstacles in life
-- the death of a love one—loss of a job—a health issue
--a marriage breakup --maybe the caregiver’s blues- feelings of loneliness --guilt-depression-or chronic pain.
Many of us know of times when the darkness in our caves becomes too much to bear, when the wish for the smell of fresh earth and the sound of buds bursting into flowers gives us the desire to break free from the gloom but we haven’t the strength.
–Often it is not enough to rely on our own strength but with Jesus’ help, the stone can be rolled away. Sometimes it will be slowly inch by inch—other times with one great heave the burden is rolled away, surprising ourselves with our own strength.
The Easter story tells us to open our eyes and see the cave that held Jesus is no longer “barricaded.” God’s Spirit that dwelt in Jesus has been set free and is now found in each of us--available to give strength and courage thru out life’s journey.
This EASTER SEASON let us shout Hallelujah, THE STONES that were holding us prisoner are ROLLED AWAY and we are free to bathe in the light!!
WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE!! Amen.
Rev. Christine Johnson has been invaluable in shaping this message.
Let us prayer: Dear Jesus, walk with us in this time of worship, as you walked with Mary in the garden. Whisper our names, that we might hear your voice. Show us your grace that we may know your love. Grant us faith that we might believe in your risen spirit. And ask for help to roll away the hidden stones in our lives. We ask in your name. AMEN.
v Matthew 5:9 (NASB)
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers”
In a word full of strife, now more than ever, we need peacemakers.
· In Families, we need Peacemakers
· In Church, we need Peacemakers
In fact, we need peacemakers now more than ever in every facets of life.
A Peacemaker’s roll is to bring Reconciliation
between two opposing Faith.
Christ is called “ The Prince of Peace”
v In Isaiah 9:6 (NASB)
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
v In Ephesians 2:14 (NASB)
14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
v In Philippians 4:7 (NASB)
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word Peace?What do you picture?
· Then End of War
There are strong impressions on your Mind.
But I want to bring out the Spiritual context of Peace!
Peace is not merely the “Absence of conflict.”
It is not “Pacifism”
True Peace is “Active”.
I would argue that without Justice, there can be no Peace.
Yet if Justice is not tempered with Mercy, there can be no Peace.
Here now, we see 2 kinds of Wisdom.
Heavenly Vs Demonic
Godly Vs Wordly
v James 3:13-16 (NASB)
Wisdom from Above
13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
v James 3:17-18 (NASB)
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
v Romans 14:14-19 (NASB)
14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
We are called the Peacemakers to be Reconcilers.
First and foremost, we must “by our Faith”
Be Reconciled to God.
v Colossians 1:19-22 (NASB)
19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the [b]fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--
v Romans 5:1 (NASB)
Results of Justification
5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Then Spread the Gospel of Reconciliation
So that others may have Peace with God and live Peaceably in
· This Word
Church, we are called to be Peacemakers!
We have the Good News of Jesus Christ
Go now and “live out” the Peace that passes All Understanding.
God Bless you.
CALL & RESPONSE:
ONE: Christ is risen!
ALL: The Lord is risen indeed!
ONE: Glory and honour, dominion and power, be to God for ever and ever. ALL: Christ is risen! Alleluia
PRAYER: 0 God, our resurrection and life, the promise of Your new life in Christ is like a breath of fresh air in a dry and thirsty land. We have gathered as believers, and as those who are honestly seeking the truth. Guide our worship this hour.
PRAYER & THE LORD'S PRAYER: God, our Father, by raising Christ Your Son, You conquered the power of death and opened for us the way to eternal life. Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us. Help us to live as new people in pursuit of the Christian ideal. Grant us wisdom to know what we must do, the will to want to do it, the courage to undertake it, the perseverance to continue to do it, and the strength to complete it
We humbly offer our thanks, 0 Lord, for Jesus Christ, and for His unconditional love, service and suffering for all of us. We praise You for the assurance of victory over death and the grave which You gave us by raising Your Son from the dead. May the triumph celebrated on Easter Day renew our faith, redirect our purposes and energies, free us from all fears and deadening attitudes, and strengthen our loyalty to Jesus Christ, who was and is the resurrection and the life. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who taught us to pray, saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
A man drove to a very run-down section of town for a business meeting. He left his car parked at the side of the road. After his meeting, the man approached his car and found a small boy gazing at it with wonder in his eyes. The man asked, "Do you like my car?"
The boy replied, "Mister, I think it's the most beautiful car I've ever seen." The two stood in a few moments silence, and then the man said, "My brother gave me this car."
"Wow," said the young boy, and then he asked, "Do you know what I wish, mister?"
The man thought he knew, but waited and then politely asked, "What do you wish?"
The boy replied, "I wish I could be a brother like that!"
The point of this story is, that each day as brothers and sisters in Christ, we have the opportunity to be generous both in spirit and in pocketbook to those around us who are in need. Give as generously as you can this Easter morning as we collect the offering.
The Offertory Prayer: Loving and gracious God, we thank You for being such
an extravagant giver. You have blessed us beyond our wildest imagination with what we need and so much more. We come to You in thanksgiving, knowing that all we are and all we have is a gift from You. In faith and love, help us to do Your will. We offer to You this Easter Sunday all the facets of our lives — to be patient, to be merciful, to be generous, to be holy. We offer our gifts of time, talent and possessions to You as a true act of faith, and to reflect our love to You. Help us to reach out to others as You, our God, have reached out to us. In Your name we pray and ask You to receive today's offering. Amen.
SOLO: " They will be shouting on the Hills"Norm Rennie