Sunday, 8 March 2015

Earth Shattering

Matthew 28:1-10
The Resurrection of Jesus
​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.”

Do not be afraid
The darkness is overcome
Do not be afraid
The betrayer does not have the last word
Do not be afraid
Death is defeated
In the light of the new dawn
The Risen Christ invites you to this table
where we feast on the love of God

This do in remembrance of me.
Jesus, who astounded the women who came to the tomb early in the morning with his risen presence, gathered his friends around him the night before his death. His disciples were there, some who would flee, some who would betray, some who would deny. And the women were there,who would look on and weep as Jesus was tried, convicted and crucified.
He shared the Passover meal with these friends who had journeyed with him.
He spoke to them of his impending betrayal, suffering and death, though they did not understand.
After supper, he took bread, blessed it, broke it and shared it, saying:  Do this in remembrance of me.
Then he took the cup and gave it to them saying: this cup is the new relationship with God made possible because of my death. Drink it all of you to remember me.
We who live in the light of the Resurrection give thanks for Jesus' willingness to die for us.
And we do this to remember him.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Risen Christ, you emerge from the earthquake proclaiming : Do not be afraid
Surrounded by angels, you roll away the stone from all the tombs that imprison today.
Tombs of fear, of despair, of hopelessness, of lovelessness. Tombs of hurt and emptiness, of betrayal and death.
You roll back those stones and you sit on them calling your children to emerge from the darkness into your glorious light.
 Not only do you call us out - but you commission us - to go and tell the good news.
As we remember you here, as we celebrate your resurrection and feast on your love, may we be freed from fear and filled with urgency to share the good news.
In all that rocks the life of others, may we be willing to stand with you in the midst, bringing hope, light, love and life.
Risen Christ, send your Spirit on this bread and wine today, that as we remember your death and share this resurrection food, we may be rudely awakened to your disturbing presence and be shaken out of our complacency by the power of your love here in this place today.

Christ, whose body was broken for us 
meets us on this day of Resurrection 
to take our fear away

Christ whose blood was poured out for us
meets us on this day of Resurrection
commissioning us to share the Good News

Out of the earthquake that rolled the stone away
see the Risen Christ emerge for you 

Prayer after Communion
We have feasted on the love of God
We have celebrated that death is overcome
and that darkness gives way to light
Now we go into the world
To share the earth-shattering good news
that Christ is risen
He is risen indeed.
Alleluia! Amen.

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