Home Worship Sheet 11 04 2021

Welcome to our home worship sheets.  Last weekend we celebrated Easter, and today we’re continuing to think about resurrection as we are looking at the last chapter in the gospel of Matthew together. 
Let us pray as we start.

Loving God, we thank you for the week that has passed and for this new day.  Thank you for your love for us that we see in the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Help us to hear you speak to us today, through the words and silences we share, and through your Holy Spirit.  So we might be filled with your love and equipped to follow you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Call to worship: (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God,
 
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We’re going to sing of this victory, we’re going to sing about what Jesus has done for us.  We’re going to sing/read/listen “He has risen” (Source 155)  Click here to find the song on YouTube.

He has risen, he has risen, he has risen, Jesus is alive.

When the life flowed from his body,
seemed like Jesus’ mission failed.
But his sacrifice accomplished,
victory over sin and hell.

He has risen, he has risen, he has risen, Jesus is alive.

In the grave God did not leave him,
for his body to decay;
raised to life, the great awakening,
Satan’s power he overcame.

He has risen, he has risen, he has risen, Jesus is alive.

If there were no resurrection,
we ourselves could not be raised;
but the Son of God is living,
so our hope is not in vain.

He has risen, he has risen, he has risen, Jesus is alive.

When the Lord rides out of heaven,
mighty angels at his side,
they will sound the final trumpet,
from the grave we shall arise.

He has risen, he has risen, he has risen, Jesus is alive.

He has given life immortal,
we shall see him face to face;
through eternity we’ll praise him,
Christ, the champion of our faith.

He has risen, he has risen, he has risen, Jesus is alive.

Gerald Coates, Noel & Tricia Richards
1993 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

Thanksgiving:
Loving God we thank you for all the different ways you look after us.  We thank you for all the little things in life that we so easily take for granted; our running water and our clean clothes, the roofs over our heads and the food in our fridges, and so much more.  God we also thank you for the bigger things in life; our friends and family supporting us through the good and the bad, those who look after us when we are ill, those special moments when we see someone after a long time, a hug when we are allowed again.  All these things tell us of your love for us and we thank you for them.  We also thank you for showing your love to us through Jesus.  He was born, he lived, he died and was raised to live again, all so that we could get to know you more.  What an amazing love is that.  God we thank you and praise you for your love and goodness to us.

Thank you as well that we can pass this love on through so many different ways.  Help us to be generous with all you have given us.  We pray now for what we give back to the church, our time and money, and we ask that you help us all to show your love to the people around us and in the world through all we do and are.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Reading: (Matthew 28)
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. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”[1]

Reflection:
This is an amazing story.  An incredible story.  And some might say that it is in-credible, un believable and not true, made up by the disciples and retold by many Christians since, a fairy tale.  Some have even suggested people in the first century were more likely to be fooled about the reality of death and resurrection!  But that really couldn’t be further from the truth, people of those times saw death often and although some believed in a resurrection at the end of time, everybody was very familiar with the fact that death was real and final.  Some have set out to prove that the resurrection never happened, but after carefully weighing up all the evidence they actually came to the conclusion that Jesus really did rise from the dead!  For Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (and whoever else was with them), the shock of finding the tomb empty was profound and terrifying.  When they actually met Jesus and touched him for themselves they realised with joy that he had truly conquered death and risen from the grave.  They met him, they worshipped him, and he spoke to them and later to the other disciples as well.

News from the soldiers that Jesus was miraculously alive was very disturbing to the Jewish leaders.  It seems that they hoped that keeping the guards quiet would be enough to stop this news from spreading and the crowds from turning to follow Jesus again.  Of course, in the long run their efforts failed!  In fact, the most convincing and enduring proof of the resurrection was the complete change that came over the disciples.  Scared and confused and traumatised followers of Jesus became men and women who boldly shared their faith in Galilee and the rest of the world.  In just a few decades, without the benefits of digital communications or the advantages of easy travel the good news about Jesus had spread throughout the known world.  Meeting with the risen Jesus changed the disciples for good.  This change wasn’t just a thought process, as in ahh now I know for sure and can put those worries to bed, but it changed the way they saw the world and everything in it.  The risen Jesus promises to be with them and charges them to go out and make more disciples and that is exactly what they do.

For us to the resurrection of Jesus isn’t just head knowledge, something we are told that we repeat and ‘believe’.  It isn’t just something that we need to get our heads around or understand the theory or investigate the data.  The resurrection for us is so much more, something we need to experience or witness to actually know for ourselves in our own lives.  And because of that it isn’t something we can orchestrate so easily, we can’t just read a book, or attend some teaching, or something like that, it has to come through living life with God.  Through talking to him, through trusting him (even when we don’t understand) through worshipping him.  It is through spending time with him, saying yes to allowing his Holy Spirit to transform our hearts.  It is by learning together and growing together as the family of God that we come to know his resurrection in our own lives.  God loves us.  God loves you!  And through the resurrection of Jesus we are invited to experience this love.  Because he is with us always, to the end of the age.

Questions:

  1. Both the Angel and Jesus told the women not to be afraid, why was the experience so scary for them?
  2. How do you think the soldiers felt about their experience of the resurrection and what they were asked to do afterwards?
  3. How would you explain the importance of the resurrection?

In response to the reading and our thinking about the resurrection story and our commissioning we’re going to sing/read/listen to “I stand amazed in the presence” (Source 243)  Click here to find the song on YouTube.

I stand amazed in the presence
of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how He could love me,
a sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvellous! How wonderful!
and my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful!
is my Saviour’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden
he prayed – ‘Not my will, but thine’:
he had no tears for his own griefs,
but sweat drops of blood for mine.

In pity angels beheld him,
and came from the world of light
to comfort him in the sorrows
he bore for my soul that night.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
he made them his very own;
he bore the burden of Calvary,
and suffered and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory
his face I at last shall see,
‘twill be my joy through the ages
to sing of his love for me.

Charles Gabriel, Rodeheaver Co/Word Music/Adm. by CopyCare

Prayers:  O God, with faces touched by the light of a new day, and hearts warmed by our prayers and praises, we come before you to pray for the needs of our world.

Into the glorious light of the resurrection we bring those places in our world
where war, violence, poverty and need are the experiences of everyday life.  Yemen, Syria, Hong Kong, Myanmar (other places may be named)

May the light of Christ shine upon them.
May the light of Christ shine upon them.

Into the glorious light of the resurrection
we bring those who lead countries or tribes
in the midst of violence or poverty, or the COVID pandemic,
may they know your wisdom for the best way forward
may they work for peace and prosperity for all they serve.

May the light of Christ shine upon them.
May the light of Christ shine upon them.

Into the glorious light of the resurrection
we raise those who are struggling with illness,
with despair over their lives, or with the breakdown of relationships.
(in the silence name those who are on your heart)

May the light of Christ shine upon them.
May the light of Christ shine upon them.

And into the glorious light of the resurrection
we bring ourselves, the private struggles,
the heart’s yearnings, the hidden dreams, the unfulfilled potential.

May the light of Christ shine upon us.
May the light of Christ shine upon us. AMEN.[2]

Let us conclude our time of prayer by saying the Lord’s prayer together:
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.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For the kingdom,
the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever.  Amen.

Our final song reminds us that in all this, all glory goes to God the creator of heaven and earth who loves us.  Let us sing/read/listen to “To God be the glory” (Source 526)  Click here for the song on YouTube.

To God be the glory! Great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son;
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear his voice
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice
O come to the Father
through Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory!
Great things he hath done

O perfect redemption the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Praise the Lord! …

Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done
and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher and greater will be
our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord! …

Frances van Alstyne

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore, Amen


[1] Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[2] Adapted from a prayer written by Ann Siddall, and posted on the website of the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre.  http://www.stillpointsa.org.au/

CCLI: 21497