The opening song is upbeat version ‘Jesus Christ is risen today’, sung by Northland Church. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Call to worship
Jesus Christ is Risen today! Alleluia!
Love is stronger than hate, life is stronger than death, for Jesus Christ is risen.
You may like to light a candle at this time.
God’s truth has been revealed in the risen Jesus Christ, the light of the world. May the light shine for the hope of the world.
Acknowledgment of country
As we begin, it is appropriate to recognise that this great land has been home to our first nations peoples for many thousands of years. Therefore, let us also acknowledge those Aboriginal peoples who are the first habitants of the regions in which we dwell and honour them for their care of the land.
Let us pray.
God, our maker and our redeemer, you loved the world so much that you sent your only Son to bring us life eternal. Dying he destroyed our death. Rising he restored our life.
We give you thanks, great God, for the hope we have in Jesus. We praise you for his presence with us. Because he lives, we look for eternal life with you, knowing that nothing past, present, or yet to come, can separate us from your great love. made known in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
God of glory, fill your people with the power that flows from Christ’s resurrection. May it signal the beginning of a renewed humanity, risen to new life with Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
From the Bible
The Bible readings for today are from the Gospel of John 20:1-18, and the words are included below. There is also an optional video of the Gospel reading by the Lumo group underneath the words.
The empty tomb
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. 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.”
Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
The risen Jesus appears to Mary
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 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. 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.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).
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.'” 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.
Dramatic reading from Lumo
Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the reading by the Lumo group. If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
The message today is brought to us by Tim Jensen from the Saltbush Community. Tim speaks to us about Mary telling the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’. Her claim is also ours, for death, violence, war and hatred are conquered by what God did through Christ.
Today the message is personal and invites us to share of the times we have seen the Lord. How does seeing the Lord encourage the church and the communities in which you find yourselves?
Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God. You may prefer to do this while listening to the ‘Optional reflective music’ below.
Optional reflective music
The reflective music is ‘Alive again’, by Lucy Kong and Raina Ashford (at Marketplace in Bondi, Sydney). If you have problems connecting, also try this link at Vimeo:
Prayers for Others
Our prayers today are brought to us by Ros Robinson from Cootamundra Uniting Church.
We have seen the Lord! Our lives are no longer the same, we are called into a resurrected life.
Go knowing the Risen Christ is with you, the Holy Spirit moves you, and the God of peace surrounds you.
Bless us and the people we meet along the way Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen
The closing song is, ‘Thine be the glory’, sung as a ‘virtual choir’ by St Andrew the Great Music (UK). If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Holy Week trail
Here is a selection of fun activities designed for the last week of Lent and Easter Sunday. It was prepared by Ros Robinson from the HomeFaith community.
The sermon and closing blessing is from the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at: