Easter Sunrise Service, 2019

Easter Service April 12, 2020

This service seeks to help open a door to the divine, as does all spiritual ritual. You might light a candle, put on some soft music, or take whatever other steps might help you gather a sense of holiness. May God bless you and keep you.

 

Welcome & Announcements

 

Centering Moment - Sally Kealy
Take a moment to let your awareness drop down inside you, into the ocean of loving awareness that is within all of us.

Call to Worship - John Kealy
One: Christ is risen.

Many: Christ is risen indeed!

One: The sting of death is gone…

Many: Our tears are wiped away.

One: God opens the tombs of our hearts…

Many: And fills us with life.

One: This is the day the Lord has made.

All: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!


Invocation
O Risen Christ, we come this morning with eager anticipation. We seek to see you, to love you, to follow you. Open our hearts, that we might witness your new life in us. Open our lives, that we might be faithful participants in your resurrection. Amen.

 

Hymn: “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”

Jesus Christ is risen today, Allelulia!
Sons of men and angels say: Allelulia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Allelulia!
Sing ye heav’ns and earth reply: Allelulia!

 

Love’s redeeming work is done, Allelulia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Allelulia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Allelulia!
Christ has opened paradise, Allelulia!

 

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven! Allelulia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Allelulia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Allelulia!
Hail, the Resurrection thou! Allelulia!

 

Passing the Peace

 

Scripture Reading: John 20:1-2, 11-18 – Amelia Perkins
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.’…

 

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 round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” 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.

Reflection

Our resurrection story is the greatest of our stories because it celebrates that love rises above death.

 

What a blessing it is to have this story today, because today we need to believe our own resurrection is possible. We need the imagination to trust that we can rise from pandemic death and also from the other deaths in our society: from poverty and injustice and climate change and all the rest.

 

We see our story of Jesus’ resurrection playing out all around us these days. We see love rising above death in the courage of front-line medical workers, and we see love rising above death in people clapping and singing in the cities every day to thank those medical workers and all others putting themselves at risk, like the grocery workers and the delivery drivers.

 

We see love rising above death in people making funny family videos to make us all laugh, and in people sending out wonderful words of hope and courage. We are keeping ourselves at a distance, but in some ways we have never been closer.

 

We see love rising above death in acts that may seem obvious and yet they are profound. When we put on masks to protect others, we are opening ourselves to the awareness that we utterly depend on each other. Are we beginning to understand that humanity is one body?… that what happens to any one of us affects us all?… that we can never be truly whole until we take care of each other as our first priority?

 

Can we imagine these as early glimpses of our own larger resurrection as a society? People are already talking about how the pandemic is preparing us to bend the world toward more love and justice for all.

 

It is as hard to imagine this. God knows it wasn’t possible for Mary to imagine the tomb would be empty, and she would hear Jesus call her name.

 

And yet it is the promise of our tradition that when we choose love, we are helping to build heaven on earth. We don’t need to predict the details of how this will work... we just need to keep loving.

 

These are not abstract ideas; they are as real as it gets. Devoting ourselves to empathy exercises our heart, and so it gets bigger and stronger. The cynic in us wants to say, “Get real!” but there is nothing more real than love.

 

We are made for this. We are made to love because we are made from love.

 

Mary and the other followers of Jesus could never have foreseen it, but soon after Easter they began forming communities that were devoted to the needs of all. Those communities were a realization of the dream of Judaism itself, beyond anyone’s imagining. Love came first, and resurrection happened.

 

We too are witnessing life rising above the death and the darkness. We too are being called to bring a little more of heaven to earth.

 

We are a people of resurrection. May we trust that even by the tomb – as for Mary – Life is waiting to call our name.

 

May it be so for each and every one of us. Amen.

 

Hymn: “Morning Has Broken”

Morning has broken like the first morning

Blackbird has spoken like the first bird

Praise for the singing

Praise for the morning

Praise for them springing fresh from the world

 

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven

Like the first dew fall on the first grass

Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden

Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

 

Mine is the sunlight

Mine is the morning

Born of the one light Eden saw play

Praise with elation, praise every morning

God's recreation of the new day

 

Morning has broken like the first morning

Blackbird has spoken like the first bird

Praise for the singing

Praise for the morning

Praise for them springing fresh from the world

 

Prayers
Oh Risen Christ, face of God, on this Easter morn we welcome the empty tomb for we know that it means you are on the loose. From the depths of our current crisis, we pray that we find resurrection. For all of us and all people in the world, help us to know that you are in us and we are in you., and bring us your peace and comfort and strength and hope. We pray for those on our prayer list. We pray for those who are ill… for those in pain or loneliness or fear… for those who grieve… We pray for all who suffer from the tragedies of war and all kinds of violence against each other and our earth… We pray for all who are defenseless. We pray for all beings. Finally, we pray for those whose names we lift up to you now in our hearts. Dear God, help all these to know the resurrection in them of your peace and comfort and strength and hope.

 

God, it is you have made us, and not we ourselves. We are dust without your breath of life. Breathe your Spirit into us that we might be faithful in the tasks you set before us. Help us to know the never-ending life of your Spirit. We ask in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray to you the prayer we say together now, saying,

The Lord's Prayer
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. Amen.

Unison Response: “O Lord, Hear My Prayer”
O Lord, hear my prayer,
O Lord, hear my prayer.
When I call answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer,
O Lord, hear my prayer.
Come and listen to me.

Benediction
Let us go from this place in the knowledge that life breaks through the tomb. Let your heart rise to the light as flowers rise, and know the Risen Christ is within you today and always. Amen.

God bless you all,

Lee

 

Prayer List
If you would like to add a person here, please contact Lee, leebarstow@gmail.com; Judy Ricker, judyricker@aol.com; or Sarah Roys, sdroys2@gmail.com.

 

Fred Bashour
The family and friends of Deb Blakeney-Howard, Kim Mohlar’s
 friend
Donna, Nick Grabbe’s friend
Joan E., friend of Mary Hankinson
Irene Estes, Fred Bashour’s sister
Norma Evans
Edie Field
Jeff Field
John Field
John Field, Alice Field’s son
Chip Fonsh, friend of Steve Woodard
Dorothy Goldstone, Eve Marko’s friend
Alice Guthrie, friend of Lee Barstow
Liz H., Mary Hankinson’s sister
Victoria Hubbs, friend of Fred Bashour
Pam Jones, Sue Alward’s friend
Stasi Kanyuck, daughter of Marg and Jack Kruse, granddaughter
 of Betty Wilson
Udi Kaplan, friend of John Kealy
Mary Kealy, John Kealy’s sister
Andy Lindsay, friend of Lee Barstow
Jim McGuinness, close friend of Ralph Tiner
The family of Peggy Mosher Schauer

Julia O’Kelly, Mary Ryan’s niece
Todd Philbrick, contributed by John Kealy
Hal Ricker
Emma Ryan

Michèle Smith
Kay Scott
Leslie Scott, daughter of Kay Scott and wife of John Root
Julia Elly Shannon, Betty Wilson’s niece’s daughter
Don & Linda Shaw, friends of Rich Connelly
Prayers for Gladys Siqueira and family on the death of her father
The family and friends of Jean Tripp, friend of Tracey Field
Janet Winternitz, mother of Michèle Smith’s partner, Rob
 Winternitz
Migrant families separated at our borders and those who help them
Victims of injustice & violence everywhere
Victims of natural disasters and their families
All those affected by hate & hate crimes

OTHER LINKS
ADDRESS

Leverett Congregational Church

4 Montague Road

PO Box 324

Leverett, MA 01054

 413-548-9199 

WORSHIP TIMES

Sundays at 10 AM

ALL are welcome

Handicap accessible

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