Scattered But Worshipping Together
Welcome to Worship
There is no right way to do this. If you are a small group or couple, share the readings around. If you are an individual, saying the words out loud may help with presence. But make it your own; use it as you want to. As you read through the devotional, if there are thoughts to engage with, we encourage you to do that.
At 11 am gather in a common area in your home.
In the center, place a lit candle (real or electric)
Someone say out loud;
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed.
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has made us Easter people by raising Jesus from the dead. Rejoice, then, even in your distress. He has called us from darkness into light.
Christ is risen.
Prayer (Or you can pray in your own words)
Glorious God, we give you thanks and praise, for on this day creation sings, Christ is risen from the dead! He has burst forth from the tomb to break the tangles of despair and death. Love is come again. So we give you thanks for Jesus, the risen Lord of life, who rose victorious from the grave and made the whole creation new. He broke bread with sinners, fed the hungry, and healed the oppressed, then he poured out his life in death that we might live in love. Christ is risen from the dead. Love is come again. Amen
Scripture Reading for the Day – John 20:1-18
Invite 1 or 2 to read it from a Bible.
The resurrection account is the foundation upon which our faith and hope is based.
Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.
It is the central core belief for those who follow Jesus, because if he couldn’t conquer death for himself, then how can he promise that he would do it for us?
As we talked about two weeks ago, in our world death is the worst thing that can happen to us. Mary saw her dear friend and teacher die on a cross and be taken down with the life gone out of him. Mary knew he was dead. That’s the end of the story for her.
She came to the tomb fully expecting it to be as she had left it.
Instead she found the stone had been moved away, so she ran to find the disciples and tell them what had happened. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”.
Scripture does not say she looked into the tomb, not like Peter and the other disciple, John. Mary assumed she knew what had happened by her impressions based on what she had seen.
Sometimes we are guilty of doing that too. With our families or friends or even people we don’t know but think we do. We make judgements about people based on what we see, without checking on the truth first. That’s not always fair and it certainly isn’t loving.
Mary saw that the stone was gone and accused “them” of removing Jesus’ body.
By the word “Them” she meant the enemies of Jesus, her enemies. The chief priests and their officials who shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” The Pharisees who went to Pilate to get him to post a guard on the closed tomb.
It is not unusual for us to expect certain actions from our enemies and blame them with hasty certainty. Even if they might not be guilty.
This distrust and animosity is based upon our experience with them in the past. But sometimes it’s not true and we end up blaming people. We may be so busy blaming others that we miss the fact that Christ is doing a new thing here, a big new thing.
When the disciples came running to see what Mary was talking and crying about, they were able to go directly into the tomb to see for themselves. The stone no longer blocked their way. They went inside and one of the one disciples, “…saw and believed.”
Indeed, Jesus was gone. They could see with their eyes, and believe with their hearts.
Those big stones in our lives sometimes block our view too and we can’t see the truth.
What is it that blocks our way to see Jesus? Sometimes it’s how we’ve been hurt by someone in the past. Or maybe somebody mistreated us or abandoned us as a friend. Sometimes it’s the inability to forgive ourselves when we fail yet again. Perhaps it’s selfishness that blocks the view. There are many things that block our view of Jesus.
And anything that stops us from sharing God’s love with other people, or prevents us from living life more abundantly, needs to be rolled away.
However, we are not left to face these struggles alone. Mary shows us the transformation from weeping and sorrow to joy; from confusion to understanding.
Maybe pause here and go reread John 20:11-16
Mary finally stops to see, to look closer inside the tomb. She looks past her own expectations and assumptions, and it’s then that she encounters Jesus.
He gently speaks her name and in that word he communicates healing and grace to her.
Oh the deep joy of having the One who knows you better than anyone else, speak your name.
The same opportunities are open to us. Christ desires to look into our eyes and speak our name. He wants us to know that deep in his heart he knows us and he loves us.
That can be very healing for us. In the knowing and being known by the Saviour, he helps our stones to be rolled away as well.
The large boulders in our lives just stop us from seeing the risen Christ. But the resurrection of Jesus Christ gives him access into our hearts, as we welcome him in.
May you see the risen saviour and hear him call your name, again and again and again, until your stones are rolled away.
Take time to pray together.
–Ask or think of some things to pray for
Closing Prayer – Have someone close with this
God has raised from death our Lord Jesus,
who is the Great Shepherd of the sheep
as the result of his blood by which the eternal covenant is sealed.
May the God of peace provide us with every good thing we need in order to do his will, and may he, through Jesus Christ, do in us what pleases him.
And to Christ be the glory forever and ever!
Worship for the kids with Pastor Marc (And a Cinematic Surprise!)
At 11:45 am we are going to try to open up a ZOOM fellowship room.
If you would like to see some people and maybe say hi, get a coffee and click on this Zoom link below.
If you would like to install the Zoom app on your computer or phone or tablet, visit the download page here.
(This is only a test, we have no idea how it might go.)
Giving our Offerings, An Act of Worship
If you would like to make a donation, Click on this link which will lead you to instructions on how you may do that.
For a printable copy of the above service, click on the link below: