Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

A short service for Easter Sunday 12th April 2020

Alleluia. Christ is risen

He is risen indeed. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


This is the day when our Lord Jesus Christ passed from death to life. Throughout the world Christians celebrate the awesome power of God. As we hear his word and proclaim all that God has done, we can be confident that we shall share His victory over death and live with him forever.


Psalm 118: 14-24

14 The LORD is my strength and my defense;

he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory

resound in the tents of the righteous:

“The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!

16 The LORD’s right hand is lifted high;

the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”

17 I will not die but live,

and will proclaim what the LORD has done.

18 The LORD has chastened me severely,

but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;

I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.

20 This is the gate of the LORD

through which the righteous may enter.

21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;

you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;

23 the LORD has done this,

and it is marvellous in our eyes.

24 The LORD has done it this very day;

let us rejoice today and be glad.


Collect

God of glory,

by the raising of your Son

you have broken the chains of death and hell:

fill your church with faith and hope;

for a new day has dawned

and the way to life stands open

in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.


Our Bible reading is Matthew 28: 1-10
An Easter Sunday thought for the day by Revd. Arif Anees

This Sunday all the believers around the world are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and His victory over sin and death. This Easter looks very different as worshipers cannot gather together in their church buildings because of the lockdown due to the pandemic. But what remains the same is that we are still celebrating the risen Lord Jesus who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

It sounds strange to preach about the empty tomb when church buildings are empty too. It might be strange in the West but is it really strange? This is the everyday reality for the followers of Jesus Christ in the countries where Church is facing horrific persecution. Or what about the early church before the conversion of emperor Constantine? Did Jesus ever promise, if you follow me your life will be trouble free? Rather in Luke 9: 23, Jesus said that in order to follow Him people must take up their cross every day. Cross represents both suffering and victory over suffering through the power of Jesus. It is written in the Ecclesiastes chapter 9, that both believers and unbeliever go through the same circumstances and events of life. We are not in control of what goes on, but we are in control of how we react to it and how we go through it. A believer goes through the times of trouble differently, he or she mustn’t just go through but grows through it.

Matthew 8:23–27, Mark 4:35–41, and Luke 8:22–25 tell us the story of Jesus calming the storm. Just imagine for a moment, was it really possible to sleep on a fishing boat in a raging storm? Was Jesus really sleeping? And answer to this question is found in Jesus’ own words, “why are you so afraid? Where is your faith?” Jesus was with them in the same boat, experiencing the same storm.

We are not in the business of explaining the tragedy because we are not skilled to understand or comprehend what God is doing or why. But we can be sure that our risen Lord Jesus is with us in the same way He was with his disciples in the boat. It is not just how we go through the eventualities of life but also, who is with us as we journey through these challenges. At this Easter, lets spread the message of life and hope, love one another especially the vulnerable among us. And be a beacon of Christ’s unfailing love in our communities as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.


Our Prayers

We pray to Jesus who is present with us to eternity.

Jesus, light of the world, bring the light and peace of your Gospel to the nations.

Jesus, Lord of life,

In your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, bread of life, give food to the hungry and nourish us all with your word.

Jesus, Lord of life,

In your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, our way, our truth, our life, be with us and all who follow you.

We pray that isolated and persecuted churches may find fresh strength in the good news of Easter.

Jesus, Lord of life,

In your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, Good Shepherd who gave your life for the sheep, recover the straggler, bind up the injured, strengthen the sick and lead the healthy and strong to new pastures.

Jesus, Lord of life,

In your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, the resurrection and the life, we give you thanks for all who have lived and believed in you.

Rise us with them to eternal life.

In your mercy, hear us,

Accept our prayers, and be with us always.

Amen.


Final blessing

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant, make your perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight; and may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

With the risen life of Christ within you,

Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.


Common Worship, Times and Seasons - Copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2006

The Holy Bible NIV - Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society