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Resurrection Sunday

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in regular typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in
bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we commence our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A Call To Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

The Absolution
00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence For Today (let us say aloud):

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures for ever.

The Special Prayer For Today (let us pray aloud):

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord's resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Our first reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Isaiah 25:6-9
00:00 / 01:04

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Acts 10:34-43
00:00 / 01:42

Gradual Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we raise out voices in praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A reading from the holy gospel according to Saint John.

John 20:1-18
00:00 / 02:51

Listen to David speak to this gospel

Go and tell !
00:00 / 10:02

or, if you prefer, you can read the sermon, below:

Sermon for Resurrection Sunday, 31st Mar 2024

MAY the words of my mouth and the meditations in our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. <Amen>


This passage from John, chapter 20, verses 1 through 18 is foundational for us, because Christ’s resurrection IS the basis of our faith. Without it:

The Gospel would be meaningless.
Forgiveness of sins would be hopeless.
Present life would be joyless.
Godly living would be fruitless.
Future life would be worthless.

The resurrection of Jesus is the dawning of a new day heralding the defeat of death.

Early on that first Easter Sunday morning, Mary expected to find death, but instead she found new life. We also expect to find death. We know how Good Friday feels. Now we are confronted with Easter Sunday. Today, we stand looking into the empty tomb and experiencing the impossible.

IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND - - - WE DON’T GO LOOKING FOR RESURRECTION … RESURRECTION FINDS US.

Jesus’ resurrection is about God loving us so much that He is willing to go to any length to find us and, yes, in all the wrong places. Like Mary, we go looking for God in the places where we expect to find God. In Jesus’ resurrection God finds us when we are down and out, when we are at the end of our rope, when we have lost hope. God rolls back the stones that bind and confine us. God stands waiting with a familiar voice that calls us to new life and to “go and tell.”

Jesus opened up a new relationship for us through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Jesus became the final, ultimate sacrifice for our human sins and - in and through that - He has given us free access to God the Father, to whom we can come in times of need. <PAUSE>

There is something about a living testimony that gives us courage. Once we see someone else emerging from life’s dark tunnels we realise that we too can overcome. In the eyes of much of humanity, death was, and for many it still is, a black void of nothingness. There was\is no victory over this enemy. It invades every human, trying to convince us that life was only meant to end abruptly and senselessly.

Today, Jesus reveals the true nature of death and it was on the Cross that the showdown occurred.

Jesus was tired of seeing humanity fooled by death. He entered the dark tunnel of death to prove that there was an exit. As the world darkened, as humanity held its breath, the stone was rolled away, Jesus emerged from death’s tunnel, and He freed us from the fear of death. THANKS BE TO GOD. <Pause>

Today, the tomb still stands empty but not everyone believes that Jesus has, in fact, overcome death and provided the only way to eternal life.

Jesus appeared to Mary to comfort her, to comfort ALL who believe, and what’s more, He did have an assignment for her … “Go to my brethren and tell them the Good News.”

Jesus commanded His followers not only to pray but to go out and serve and witness.

As Christians we are the conduits of His love to others. Just as Jesus told Mary so He tells us to go to show and tell people about the Good News.

A moment ago you heard me say, “not everyone believes” … so, let us all, again and again, proclaim …

He lives … and He is with our Father in resurrected glory.

In His resurrection, Jesus broke the bonds of sin and death and the limitation of space, time and the weaknesses of earthly existence. By the power of God He has brought forth a new creation, a new order.

We do not worship a dead god but a living Lord. We worship a God who has placed all our burdens on Himself. We don’t have to find Him because He never loses us. He promises that if we see Him, we will find Him as He comes to us. We are never lost from His sight. We may not see Him but He is always there. ALWAYS ALIVE.

Sometimes the harsh realities of life are so overwhelming that we forget Jesus is alive. That He HAS conquered death, and our future is safe in His hands and He will be with us everywhere and all the time. He will be with us in the good times and in the tough times and as we celebrate His glorious victory over death ….. To God will be the glory!

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu.
In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMEN>

Pause and Reflect

Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.
 

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today to speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by saying aloud, and together, "The Apostles Creed":

apostles_creed_pic02.jpg
Image by Allef Vinicius

... and now let us pray for the Church, the World, and Ourselves, giving thanks for God's goodness.

​Let us pray aloud, and together:

Christ is Risen, and the power of His resurrection fills the world today with new life, hope and expectation and so we bring him all our needs.

In Jesus, name we pray. Amen.


(LONGER pause for silent, personal reflection)

In response to the call today “Christ is Risen!” Our response is, “He is Risen indeed!”

(Short Silence) Christ is Risen! : He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!


Faithful God, we think of Your people today celebrating the Resurrection all over the world. Language, race and nationalities may be different but our worship and our joy on the Day Of Resurrection make us one in the Gospel  We pray that The Holy Spirit may guide and strengthen us in mission and service praying that day by day we may grow in love for you and for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

(Short Silence) Christ is Risen! : He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!


Creator God,  we pray for the leaders of the nations of the world that they may give priority to those with greatest need in the distribution of the world’s basic resources. We especially pray on this special day, for peace in the world and for countries where there is war and conflict

We remember today those involved in the fight against terrorism around the world and for all service personnel on active duty around the world.

(Short Silence) Christ is Risen! : He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

Father God at this joyful Eastertide we pray for our families and friends especially for those joining us at our homes or in our communities during the Easter Holidays.  We thank you too for the joy of sending and receiving Easter greetings and messages of love.  Thank you too for modern communication systems which bring our loved ones so close even when we are separated by great distances.


(Short Silence) Christ is Risen! : He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

Creator God we pray for those who are in need and ask you to look with pity on those who suffer. We pray for the broken-hearted, for the sick, for the lonely that Your very presence would comfort them in their time of need.

We especially raise before you now all those who have asked for our prayers from around the world … those we know in New Zealand, in Singapore, in Argentina, in France, in Australia, in the US, in Canada, in Austria, in Ukraine, in China and any others we now name aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, and those who are known only by you.

(Short Silence) Christ is Risen! : He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

Merciful God, we pray that those who have recently died may one day share in the promise of new life won for us all by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ and his triumph over death and the grave.

(Short Silence) Christ is Risen! : He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!


In a moment of silence we pray for ourselves, our families, friends, for all whom we love and for our personal ministries. Make us worthy of the resurrection that Your Son has won for us.

(Short Silence) Christ is Risen! : He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

Faithful God as we go out into the world we pray that we may reflect Your love in our families, amongst our friends and throughout our communities; so that the world can witness that we are followers of Christ and draw others into his loving care.

(Short Silence) Christ is Risen! : He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

Forth in the peace of Christ we go; Christ to the world with joy we bring; Christ in our minds, Christ on our lips, Christ in our hearts, the world’s true King.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  AMEN.

lord's_prayer_pic01_edited.jpg

Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ continues to teach us:
 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,

your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.

Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:

 

God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing

May The Risen Lord Christ turn His face towards each and every one of you.

May He cause His light to shine upon you, and

may He grant you His peace, and

 

The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn:

Let us conclude our worship today by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we unite in another hymn our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Dismissal

Go now, go out into the world

to love and serve The Lord.

 

Go in peace.

AMEN, we go in the name of Christ.

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