St. Mary's Church

Easter Day

Easter Day

3 Apr 2021 • General news

Acts 10. 34-43

34Peter began to speak to those assembled in the house of Cornelius. ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

1 Corinthians 15. 1-11

34Peter began to speak to those assembled in the house of Cornelius. ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

John 20. 1-18

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ which means Teacher. 17Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.“’ 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Easter thought from Malcolm Tyler

If there was ever a time that we need the hope of new life and Easter joy, this year is certainly one that must be high up the list. Even though we missed the celebrations of Easter last year and we’re going through some awful times, the fact that Covid has dragged on for so long has brought most of us down in one way or another.

The death statistics that are so terrible, the increase in domestic violence and issues around mental health, racial tension and the safety of women in our society have all contributed to make the last year one to forget or at least consign to Room 101.

But for each of us as Christians Easter transcends all of this. Whatever we may feel about the ills of the world in which we live, the message of Easter is one of great hope. The God in whom we believe has triumphed over all the ills of this world and established a way back to the world as he created it. This is no vain hope, whatever the nay sayers may say. In our daily lives we se the presence and action of God. We have the evidence of those who knew Jesus personally and the belief of thousands through the ages who testify to the faithfulness of God. In our own lives we have seen this year, the way people can pull together and do amazing things (Capt Tom Moore and the boy who has slept out in a tent for over a year spring to mind, as do countless others who have given service in voluntary capacities and those who have worked so hard to develop vaccines).

Rather than dwell on the past, Easter is a time to look forward with hope and to revel in the joy that God cares and acts for our good through the people he has created. May we respond positively and share that good news wherever we can.

Prayers for Easter Day prepared by Malcolm Tyler

As we celebrate the risen Christ, let us pray to the God of life, in whom we live.

That the Church of God may be bursting with new life, filled with the love that takes even death and Covid in its stride; that new and mature Christians together, all in their various ministries, may work in God’s strength for the coming kingdom.

You are our God:

who does all things well.

That the inhabitants of our planet may recognise God’s glory all around, co-operate in the sharing of his gifts, and cultivate the habit of caring love.Especially we pray for those seeking to bring awareness of the issues of climate change and pollution to a wider audience and for positive change.

You are our God:

who does all things well.

That God will bless our homes and families, our places of work and leisure, with new life and the hope of new possibilities touching the ordinary with beauty and joy.We especially prayfor the easing of lockdown restrictions not to exacerbate the infection rates in this and other countries.

You are our God:

who does all things well.

That all who feel trapped and imprisoned – physically, mentally or spiritually – may feel the stones rolled away and new light pouring into their lives.We pray for those affected by domestic violence and mental health issues caused by recent lockdowns.

You are our God:

who does all things well.

That those who have died to this earthy life may find the fullness of God’s eternity flooded with the light of his love, remembering especially Mary Carradine.

You are our God:

who does all things well.

That we may live each moment thankfully, assured of God’s company and mercy.

Merciful Father

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.Amen.