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Easter Sunday 2020

April 11, 2020

EASTER SUNDAY 2020

           

This is the Good News....the grave is empty, Christ is risen.

HALLELUJAH!

This is the Good News....the light shines in the darkness, and darkness can never put it out.

HALLELUJAH!

This is the Good News, once we were no people, now we are God’s people.

HALLELUJAH!

 

He is Lord, He is Lord,

He is risen from the dead

And he is Lord.

Every knee shall bow,

Every tongue confess

That Jesus Christ is Lord.

 

Reading : Luke 28:1-12

“At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus.

 They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words.

They left the tomb and broke the news of all this to the Eleven and the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them kept telling these things to the apostles, but the apostles didn’t believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up.

But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb. He stooped to look in and saw a few grave clothes, that’s all. He walked away puzzled, shaking his head.”

 

 

Friends,

Yesterday was Holy Saturday, and for many years I have found Holy Saturday,  quite difficult. After the long journey through Lent into Holy Week, with its escalating sense of impending danger and calamity, by the end of the week on Good Friday I simply want to be on my own, in silence, to address the feeling of exhaustion and numbness.

This year of course, has been so different, to former years, for the large part of Holy Week, I have been on my own, as have so many others.

On Thursday morning came the news of the death of my brother-in law, from the corona virus, and so, the Easter message of hope became even more personal and poignant. My sister was distressed because she could not visit her husband while he was in hospital and be with him at the end.

During this pandemic as spread we have come face to face with our own frailty, our inability to control every major challenge which arises in life.

We who had become so self-sufficient, so sure that we could provide the medicine for every ailment, have discovered that we are limited, human and mortal.

Some have had to face the horror of dying alone, with no family or friends around us to support them on their journey into the life beyond the grave.

But, we are reminded on Good Friday that Jesus himself was deserted by his closest friends, and, more appallingly, felt that his Father had forsaken him. We hear the terrible cry heard from the lips of a dying man?

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Some in these days, may feel that at the moment the world is forsaken by God; his creation seems to be running amok, and we fear what the future may bring. 

 

However, the truth cannot be denied that this is Easter Sunday. Out of that dreadful agony of Good Friday God brought an answer which was so far beyond any human expectations that it took quite a while for the truth to dawn on the disciples and other faithful followers of Jesus.

We read in Genesis chapter 1, that God, after his original act of creation, rested on the seventh day, the first “Sabbath.”

So on Holy Saturday we moved into another Sabbath as Jesus rests in the tomb. 

But on the next day, Easter Day, we have God’s act of RE-creation.

With the appearance of light on the first Easter Sunday, that light which God created first, “in the beginning”, it becomes apparent that God has been at work all the time so that our understanding of life, and of death, are changed beyond imagining.

His creative and loving presence has not disappeared simply because we were unable to see it.

The lack of understanding of the disciples of what had occurred on Good Friday sees a radical reversal.

Instead of life leading to death, and that is the end, they learn that out of that particular death of Jesus has come new life, and new hope.

Their world was altered, changed forever, from one of hopelessness and despair into one of overwhelming joy and the knowledge of the continuing presence of God and his Son in their lives, so that as St Paul said later,

“I am convinced that neither death, nor life .. nor things present, nor things to come… nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

In the past few weeks, family life, social responsibility, priorities for government spending have all been shaken to the core.

As we begin to hope for and look towards a slow period of recovery we will need to pray for our nation, our leaders and ourselves that we don’t lose sight of that new recognition of what is important in life; that our priorities won’t go back to “Business as Usual” but will become more those in line with the attitudes, and vision we associate with living in the Kingdom of God.

Perhaps we will be able to allow the fruit of the Spirit to continue to grow in us.

That fruit is, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, and self-control. 

Each Sunday since the lock down began, members of churches have been lighting candles in their windows on Sunday evenings as a sign of that hope to acknowledge that, even in our darkest hour, God is with us.

Perhaps each Sunday as we light our candles,

We can shout out loud, The Lord is Risen! He is Risen indeed!!

 

Risen Lord, we commit to you this day, all who are struggling at this time,

Those who are sick, in body, mind or spirit,

Those who are grieving,

We pray that they will know your risen presence to bring healing and comfort in these days,

Amen.

 

 

 Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,

Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;

Love lives again, that with the dead has been:

Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

 

 In the grave they laid Him, Love who had been slain,

Thinking that He never would awake again,

Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:

Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

 

 

 Forth He came at Easter, like the risen grain,

Jesus who for three days in the grave had lain;

Quick from the dead the risen One is seen:

Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

 

 When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,

Jesus' touch can call us back to life again,

Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:

Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

 

God bless you this Easter Day!!

 

 

 

 

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Divine Healing Fellowship (Scotland)

Braehead House

Christian Healing & Retreat Centre

Crossford

South Lanarkshire

ML8  5NQ

Telephone:
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Email: divinehealingfellowship@hotmail.co.uk

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