The Resurrection of Jesus
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Jesus has gone from the tomb.
At this table, we celebrate resurrection in company with the women who went to anoint his body.
Amazed, terrified, stunned into silence, here we release their story: Jesus is risen.
Jesus is risen and feasts with us here as we remember him.
There is a place at this table for you who are frightened.
There is a place at this table for you who are weary.
There is a place at this table you who have no voice.
There is a place at this table for you.
Take your place and meet the risen Christ.
Our Maundy Thursday services retold the institution of this sacrament: How Jesus, the night he was betrayed, gathered friends around him to share the Passover meal and, after supper, took bread, broke it, blessed it and shared it with them saying:
This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me.
He also took the cup, saying:
This cup is the new relationship made possible because of my death. Drink this in remembrance of me.
Jesus instituted this remembrance before he was betrayed, denied, abandoned by his friends and killed.
We celebrate because he rose again, demonstrating that God's love is greater than evil and God's grace brings forgiveness for all.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God, here in this sacrament, instituted by Jesus before his death, we celebrate all that confounds death and the evil that stalks our world. We celebrate love, forgiveness and grace.
We celebrate good news that cannot be hushed up, stories that overcome terror.
We celebrate Jesus - his birth, his life, his death and resurrection. We celebrate all that he taught and all that he modelled in his living and dying.
As we look in despair at the evil that continues to stalk our world, may we be hopeful, audaciously hopeful that love continues to have the last word and that there will always be good news stories to be told in every time of darkness and hopelessness.
God we pray for victims of terror, for those who mourn, for those who are homeless, for those forced to flee for their lives. Give us compassion and the willingness to meet others in generosity of spirit, sharing all that we have and being open to receive all that others bring to our lives, sharing our common humanity as children whom God calls beloved.
At this table, O God, as we greet Jesus, risen and going on ahead of us, may we be anxious not only to remember him but to follow him into all the world.
Send your Spirit on us and on this bread and this wine, that as we share this feast we may also share Christ's breath of life and of peace with which to bless our homes, our communities and our world today.
The body of Christ, broken for you, that you may remember him
The blood of Christ poured out for you that you may know a new relationship with God.
These gifts of God, given for the life of the world.
Prayer after communion
Risen Lord Jesus, here you have fed us with life and with hope. May we not remain silent or afraid, but take these gifts into your broken world, knowing that death does not have the last word, that evil is not stronger than love, that your forgiveness and grace is sufficient to heal and transform every darkness.
So may your life bring hope and healing for the nations and peace against the odds.