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Mar 19

Easter Sunday (Year C)

lily2Acts 10:34-43
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • God does not play favorites – why do we?
  • Do you have a cross decorating your worship space?  Cover the cross in symbols of hope and resurrection: things like flowers and butterflies.
    • You may want to use live flowers or artificial ones.  You could also use paper cutouts or origami flowers, made before or during the worship service.
    • It will be difficult to use live butterflies, so you will likely want to use some sort of artificial substitute.  There are various types of fake butterflies – often made of paper, plastic, or even feathers – in most craft stores.  You could also make your own paper cutouts or origami butterflies.
    •  An easy way to make butterflies involves squares of tissue paper and pipe cleaners.
  • Jesus ate and drank with many people after the resurrection.  Remember: Easter Sunday is a great Sunday to celebrate Communion!
Isaiah 65:17-25
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Do we find hope in these words?  For churches and communities that are struggling, God’s promise that we shall be blessed is one that many people need to hear.
  • You may want to include images of the animals mentioned in this passage in your worship display (lion, lamb, ox…).
  • Considering the mention of vineyards, you may want to include grapes and vines in your worship display.  If you are celebrating communion, you may want to include wheat or some other grain, too.
  • The hammer, nails, and boards of wood that were used on Good Friday are now transformed into building materials to build homes.
    • Collect and bless building materials for groups like Habitat for Humanity.
    • Collect building materials for those affected by natural or man-made disasters – including churches that have been affected.
  • This passage begins by mentioning the creation of a “new heavens and a new earth”.  Distribute art materials (paper, crayons, markers, etc) to the congregation, and invite everyone to draw their own depiction of the “new heaven and new earth”.
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Look for a musical setting for this psalm and sing it.  Do you have a favorite musical setting for this psalm?
  • Use a stone or cornerstone in your worship display — it serves as an illustration for this text, as well as the Gospel text (the stone that was rolled away from the tomb entrance).
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Jesus is the risen, conquering Lord!  While I am not a huge fan of the “militaristic” talk that is sometimes used in relation to Christ, it is not easy to avoid it in this passage.  One way to think about it: Jesus has a track record throughout scripture of “destroying” things (evil, powers, etc) with the power of God’s love.  Jesus does not conquer like the Romans who crucified him.  Violence is not the answer.
  • Jesus destroys death when God raises him from death to new life.  And Jesus was just the start – the promise of the resurrection and new life is meant for us, too.
John 20:1-18
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Who is the “other disciple”?  An interesting way to explore this text and the Easter story would be to pose this question: what if the “other disciple” is you?
  • When Simon Peter and the other disciple look into the empty tomb, all they find are the linen wrappings and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head.  It may be interesting to include pictures of the Shroud of Turin in your worship display.
  • Use strips of linen cloth and/or cheesecloth to represent the linen wrappings that were found in the empty tomb.  You may want to drape the fabric on a large cross in your worship display.
  • We are told that Simon Peter and the other disciple “believe” after seeing the empty tomb – but, what is it that they believe?  Before we start claiming that they believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, we should make sure that we read what the gospel writer says immediately after it says that they believed: “for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead”.  It would seem that the boys believe that Jesus’ body has been stolen – not resurrected.  It is Mary Magdalene who first believes (after meeting the risen Lord, hearing him call her by name).
  • Easter Sunday is a great time to talk about the Christian Practice of Testimony.  Invite the congregation to think about – and share – where they have seen the risen Lord.  How will we go and tell others the Good News?
Luke 24:1-12
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Use spices in jars or bowls in your worship display.
  • Again, the women are the ones who are the first to proclaim the Good News.
  • While most of the disciples do not immediately believe the testimony of the women, Peter believes that something has happened and runs to see the empty tomb for himself.  What would we do?

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