Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen indeed!
Here it is, Easter. And things are unique this year.
What is our Easter morning place in 2020? And what are our Easter memories?
Many have memories of the hymns of the Christian faith, the image of an ‘empty’ cross, the joy of good news after Friday’s grief… all of these are experienced when we have gathered for worship in our familiar TMUC sanctuary. Light softly filtered through the stained-glass windows. We found our usual place in the pews or choir loft or balcony. We flipped through the pages of the Voices United and More Voices hymn books. We were in our Easter morning place.
This Easter the familiar TMUC sanctuary is quiet. Light still filters through the stained-glass windows, shining on empty pews.
This Easter we worship as a scattered faith community.
You are in your home, and we are in ours.
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette wrote the hymn “This Easter Celebration” that speaks to this odd year.
Sung and played by Cheryl Jackson. The words are below if want to sing along.
This Easter Celebration
AURELIA 126.96.36.199 D (“The Church’s One Foundation”)
This Easter celebration is not like ones we’ve known.
We pray in isolation, we sing the hymns alone.
We’re distant from our neighbors — from worship leaders, too.
No flowers grace the chancel to set a festive mood.
No gathered choirs are singing; no banners lead the way.
O God of love and promise, where’s joy this Easter Day?
With sanctuaries empty, may homes become the place
we ponder resurrection and celebrate your grace.
Our joy won’t come from worship that’s in a crowded room
but from the news of women who saw the empty tomb.
Our joy comes from disciples who ran with haste to see —
who heard that Christ is risen, and then, by grace, believed.
In all the grief and suffering, may we remember well:
Christ suffered crucifixion and faced the powers of hell.
Each Easter bears the promise: Christ rose that glorious day!
Now nothing in creation can keep your love away.
We thank you that on Easter, your church is blessed to be
a scattered, faithful body that’s doing ministry.
In homes and in the places of help and healing, too,
we live the Easter message by gladly serving you.
Yet, Christ is with us wherever we are worshipping this morning. Christ is with us in all our familiar places. Easter is found not only in our sanctuaries, but in our homes, our neighbourhoods, in our hearts.
Easter begins with Mary and Mary going to the place where they expected to find the body of Jesus, they went to a tomb…and discovered that the tomb was empty, and that Christ was to now found…everywhere.
Hymn – “Christ is Risen Today!”
Shared with us by Cheryl and Connor Jackson
Scripture Reading – Gospel of Matthew 28:1-10
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Thinking about Easter with Esther and Emmett
TMUC’s puppet team
Reflecting on Easter
Jeff and Carol
Carol and Jeff offer an Easter Reflection (Printable version)
Let us pray:
Thank you for this Easter day
Thank you for this resurrection day
Thank you for your amazing love living in this world in Jesus the Christ
On this Easter day we pray for all people of this planet Earth you have created
Pray for hope, for healing, for patience, for courage, for acts of compassion and neighbourliness
We pray for all those who grieve the deaths of loved ones,
All those living with illnesses, diseases, infections,
All those who are sharing their skills, training and compassion to provide health care, food, supplies, services, leadership…all who in so many ways are offering healing and hope in this time of COVID-19
We pray for all those who at this time have no home in which to stay in safety, and we pray for all the people whose amazing love is providing food and shelter and friendship to others.
We take a moment to name…out loud or in the silence of our hearts and minds, people and concerns we hold in prayer…
Bless us God, with resurrection life, with new dawning hope and with Easter joy.
We pray in Jesus’ name, and we say the prayer Jesus taught his disciples:
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever, and ever,
Closing Hymn – “Joy Comes with the Dawn”
Led by Crystal Schau and accompanied by Lynne Mavins
God bless you and keep you.
God’s face shine upon.
God grant you peace and joy.
Be in the peace of Christ, this day and always. Amen
Enjoy the 2015 Choirs singing the start of the Hallelujah Chorus.
Let it bless you forward into your day.
We keep you in our prayers
Carol and Jeff