CALL TO WORSHIP:
ONE: The darkness is gone
ALL: Bright light floats into this new day of hope.
ONE: Those who went to the tomb received good news.
ALL: Christ was not there!
ONE: Christ is risen in our hearts and in our spirits.
ALL: Christ is risen from the dead! Alleluia!
WELCOME: Greetings and peace from our Lord, Jesus Christ! He is Risen! He is Risen
indeed! Welcome to all who have come to celebrate with us this Easter morning. We are
thankful that you are here at Rockburn Presbyterian Church to celebrate the resurrection
of our Lord and Saviour. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice
OPENING HYMN: Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
OPENING PRAYER & THE LORD'S PRAYER:
Loving, Powerful God, joy floods over our souls on this day! Christ is risen! Fear is vanquished! Open our hearts and our spirits to receive fully the joy which has been given for us! Let us celebrate the victory of Christ and the hope for the future. Lord, help us to live in the hope and grace of Easter Sunday every day. Christ is Risen: the world below lies desolate. Christ is Risen: the spirits of evil are fallen. Christ is Risen: the angels of God are rejoicing. Christ is Risen: the tombs of the dead are empty. Christ is Risen indeed from the dead. Glory and power are His forever and ever. And because He lives, we pray together: 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, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
EASTER CANDLE LITURGY:
ANTHEM: Above All
SCRIPTURE READINGS: I Corinthians 15:1-11
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
A PRAYER OF HOPE, JOY, LOVE AND LIFE: This prayer was written by Halley Gerth.
Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of hope You gave us on Easter morning. Because of You we know that no problem is too difficult, and even death does not have power over us.
Thank You for the gift of Joy You gave us when You were resurrected. Because of You we know that no matter how challenging life may be, in the end we will rejoice again. Thank You for the gift of Love You gave us when You laid down Your life. Because of You we know that there is no sin too great to separate us and we are incredibly valuable to You
Thank You for the gift o Life You gave us when You left the tomb. Because of Easter we know the world is just the beginning and we will spend forever in heaven with You.
We celebrate You, Jesus, with hearts full of praise and gratitude for who You are and all You've done for us! Amen.
The greatest offering comes from God, whose love is unending. Our ministry is to spread the Good News that Jesus Christ is alive. Our offerings help us to share the News, so that people who are longing for a living God, may come to know Jesus.
Give, that we might share the Great News with our words, our ministry and our lives. We give in the name of the Risen Lord! Offering Received:
God of all ages, You have emptied the tomb and set us free from our burdens. Hope has overshadowed fear. Faith has gained victory over doubt. Today, we recommit to offering comfort, hope and faith as your generous disciples to others who are driven by fear, neglect and doubt. We offer these gifts in honour of Your Easter promise. Alleluia and Amen.
HYMN: The Day Of Resurrection
A NEW CREED:
This is a creed that is an affirmation of faith based on a contemporary
view of Christianity. Let's say it together:
We believe in God, the power of life, love and being that flows through the universe. We believe in Jesus, who revealed the Good News of our connectedness with God and with all people, who was compassionate and stood up for justice, even if it meant losing His life, and who gave people an experience of God by demonstrating this power of life, love, hope and being.
Through His words and example, we believe that we, too, have this power and the capacity to give people an experience of God by living life fully, loving with our whole heart and striving to be all we can be. We believe in the communion of saints, who are a people walking together, engaged in the search for meaning and the quest to be connected with the Source and Sustainer of all that exists.
MEDITATION: The Hope Of Easter
Welcome to Rockburn. This is the best place you can be on this
Resurrection Sunday. This is exactly where God wants you to be this morning. We are all gathered here together on the most important day of the Christian year.
Those of us who are here this morning are filled joy and hope as we
celebrate the Risen Christ. But there are a lot of people who are looking for joy and hope in this world today. Unfortunately, most never ask the question, can we find hope in the Bible? Did you know that the word hope is mentioned 129 times in 121 verses in the Bible? The Bible is very specific about the definition of the word hope. In the New Testament most of the verses refer to hope as salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
It is made clear that Jesus is our hope, as He is the Word of God. I Peter 1:3 says; "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
In the period of Lent leading up to this most miraculous day we talked
about renewal and reflected on the trials and tribulations that faced our Lord.
Throughout the whole time Jesus was preparing us for the hope of new life — a rebirth that would guide us and comfort us so that we might reach the kingdom of God. The center of our faith is knowing that God is in each and every one of us.
We followed Jesus to the cross and now we are here, celebrating the Risen
Christ. The resurrection of Jesus changed the world. All the sins of every single person were paid for by Jesus Christ when He died on the cross. Today is a day of life — a day of hope.
There have been so many disturbing stories in the news in recent weeks
and months. Stories of terrorism, white nationalism, natural disasters, plane crashes, and the list goes on. When we hear this kind of news we have to ask ourselves, "What kind of world do we live in?" We watch the news and can't help but ask that question. On the other hand, when we watch a beautiful sunset, or see a child playing, or take a walk and see the flowers blooming and hear the birds singing, the question, "What kind of a world do we live in?" has a totallydifferent meaning.
The world of war, persecution, famine, racism does exist. I have heard it
referred to as a 'Good Friday' world. Jesus was tortured and crucified on Good Friday, but He rose again on Easter morning, bringing hope to His followers.
The story of the empty cross and the empty tomb is a source of hope and joy for Christians around the world. All our hope as Christians is based on the Resurrection. The Apostle Paul said, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." John tells the story of the Resurrection from the point of view of somebody who was actually at the empty tomb, and as somebody who actually saw the Risen Christ. John's words are still heard today.
We hear him saying to us, along with Mary Magdalene, "I have seen the Lord!"
And now there is no doubt — we have a hope and a future.
Let's listen to the story of Jesus' resurrection:
The women who had seen where Jesus was laid had gone home that sad evening to prepare more spices and ointments for the body of Jesus, because in the fading day it had been hastily prepared by Joseph and Nicodemus.
Now early in the morning they came, bringing their precious spices. They didn't know that Pilate and the Jews had sealed the tomb and set a guard of soldiers there. As they came through the darkness, they said to one another, "Who shall roll away the stone from the door of the tomb?"
But one of them came before them. Mary Magdalene, alone, but unafraid, approached the place just after the angel of God had rolled away the stone and the Master had come forth in glory. The Roman soldiers, white and trembling, had fled from the scene. All was still when Mary came.
(Verse 1 of "In The Garden")
In the early dawn, Mary Magdalene saw that the stone was rolled away from the door of the tomb. In great fear she turned and ran to find the disciples.
She found Peter and John, and she said to them breathlessly, :They have taken the Master out of the tomb, and where they have taken Him I do not know."
At once Peter and John started running toward the tomb. Meanwhile the other women came to the tomb and found the stone rolled back from the door.
They ventured in, but found no body of Jesus where they had seen Him laid two days before. They didn't know what to think.
But suddenly there stood by them two angels in dazzling white. They were frightened, but the angel said to them, "Why do you look among the dead for Him who is alive? Remember what He told you while He was still in Galilee, He must suffer death, but that He would rise the third day?"
Then they remembered, and leaving the angels, they fled back to the city.
They found the disciples, with others of the company, and they said to them, "The Lord is risen!" And they told them what they had seen and heard. But the disciples didn't believe them.
Peter and John, however, were running as fast as they could to the tomb.
John outran Peter, and came to the open door, and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there folded; but he didn't go in. Peter, coming up, passed him and entered. John then joined him, and they stood looking in wonder and awe.
Then they remembered what Jesus had told them, and they believed. And they ent back home.
Mary had followed them, but she could not go so fast as they. And now she stood alone at the mouth of the tomb. She wept. Stooping down, she looked in.
And there through her tears she saw two angels in white, one sitting where Jesus' head had lain, and the other at the place of His feet. And they said to her, "Why are you weeping?" She answered, "They have taken my Master away, and don't know where they have laid Him."
(Verse a of "In The Garden")
Mary turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't know it was Jesus. He said to her, "Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?"
She thought it was the gardener, and she said, "If it was You, Sir, who
carried Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will take Him away."
"Mary!" said Jesus. She turned and said, "Master!" and fell at His feet. But He said to her: "Do not detain Me; for I have not yet gone up to My Father. But go and tell my brethren I am going up to My Father and your Father, My God and your God."
Then He disappeared.
(Verse 3 of "In The Garden")
The Resurrection reminds us of our union with Christ. The Resurrection is central to the message of the Gospel. The Resurrection gives hope beyond this life. The Resurrection joins us to an eternal kingdom. The Resurrection motivates us to live a godly life by fixing our hope on the future in Christ. The Resurrection affirms an immortal life in God's presence. The Resurrection declares the ultimate triumph of Jesus over sin and death.
If we nurture our Christian lives in hope, we can be prepared for what
comes by living in the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ.
Billy Graham spoke of the hope of the resurrection. He said: "There is hope that mistakes and sins can be forgiven. There is hope that we can have joy, peace, assurance and security in the midst of the despair of today's world. There is hope that Christ will come again. There is hope that there will come a day when the kingdom of God will reign and triumph. Our hope is not in our own ability, or in our goodness, or in our physical strength. Our hope is instilled in us by the resurrection of Christ. Eternal life is yours if you believe in Jesus Christ and invite Him into your life."
Let us pray: Our Father, we thank You this morning for the triumphant
Christ and His glorious victory over death. The resurrection of Your Son has given us new life and renewed hope. May the hope and joy of Easter, and all the blessings of Easter, be with us this day and all the days to come. Amen.
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