Lectionary Easter 1 Year C -- Easter Day

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Acts 10:34-43 Peter's proclamation of Jesus as the crucified and risen Lord
or Isaiah 65:19-26 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together
Psalm 118:1-2,14-24 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone
1 Corinthians 15:19-26 Christ ... the first fruits of those who have died
or Acts 10 as above
John 20:1-18 At the empty tomb; Mary Magdalene meets the risen Jesus in the garden
Luke 24:1-12 The women find the tomb empty and tell Peter and the others

Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and its Supplement, Sing Alleluia.)
Be present now dear risen Lord
67 O worship the king all-glorious above
138 An can it be that I should gain
262 We sing the praise of him who died
277 The day of resurrection!
283 Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands
287 The strife is o'er, the battle done
289 This is the day the Lord has made
290 Christ the Lord is risen today
303 Thine be the glory
SA 2 Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord

Sermon Summary Easter 1 Year C

Victory over death

This is the great day of celebration. By the power of God life is triumphant over death. This is the beginning of the new age in which we see the promises of God being fulfilled. When his Word was made flesh in the birth of Jesus, humankind was given power to become children of God [John 1:12]. Now he has given us hope of fulfilment as his adopted children by restoring our relationship to our creator. That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. -- 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. The restored relationship is for eternity, it is the fulfilment of our destiny: the promise of life with God. That new life joins us with Christ in life beyond death: in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. -- 1 Corinthians 15:19-20.

The evidence of this victory over separation from God is seen in the resurrection of Jesus. It is an historical event for which we have the witness of the holy women and the apostles. We are not only dealing with analogies or mere symbols of the triumph of good over evil. We believe that were was an objective change in the reality of human life through a real event in the world that we know. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). It was the heart of the apostles' preaching (eg Paul at Antioch: Acts 13:32-33.) And there were many witnesses (John 20:2,6,8, John 20:11-18,1 Cor 15:5; Luke 22:31-32, 34, 36, Luke 24:11,17; John 20:19; Mark 16:11,13,14 etc.). They thought at first they were seeing a ghost (Luke 24:38-41) It was not wish fulfilment on a grand scale, but good news reluctantly accepted and verified by the experience of many witnesses.

What they saw and apparently touched, the body of the man who eat with them, was not the same physical body they had known before his death, although it bore the identifying marks of his suffering. Christ did not return to earthly life like Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:22-24,35-43), the young man at Nain (Luke 7:11-17) or Lazarus (John 11:1-44) whom he had raised. At some time they would die again. Christ's resurrection in essentially different. In his risen body he passes from the state of death to another life beyond space and time. His appearances to the disciples were not limited by locked doors or the time needed to travel from one place to another. He enjoys the sovereign freedom henceforth to be present how and where he wills. (Matt 28:9,16-17; Luke 24:15,36; John 20:14,17,19,26; 21:4.) He might or might not be recognized.

So the risen Lord was able to contact the people who could recognize him and many did. We too have the capacity to meet with him, as we do in the Eucharist now, and as we see him in the suffering faces of humanity, know him in our devotions, and as we shall see at the end when we too will be raised up in a new kind of body, not constrained by time and space, in which we will share with him the new life of children restored to the family of God with our first-born brother. (1 Corinthians 15:19-20; 1 Peter 1:3)

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Order of Service Easter 1 Year C

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP
The Lord is risen.
He is risen indeed.
Let us praise the Lord.
The Lord's name be praised.

HYMN 290 Christ the Lord is risen today

PRAYER OF ADORATION
CONFESSION [Three parts concluding]
... Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
... Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
... Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
Through Christ God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. -- Colossians 1:20
Hear then Christ's word of grace to us: Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

A CANTICLE FOR EASTER [and lighting the Easter candle]

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour, radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O holy church! Exult in glory! The risen Saviour shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God's people
It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is our passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers
This is the day when christians everywhere
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the day when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death,
and rose triumphant from the grave.
Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom slaves, you gave away your Son!
Day truly blessed, when heaven is wedded to earth,
and we are reconciled to God!
Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this day,
receive our sacrifice of praise, your church's solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle.
May Christ dispel the darkness of our night!
May the Morning Star which never sets find the flame of our love always burning.
May Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, shed his peaceful light on all the world.

Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Victory over death
A word to the children

FOR THE OLD TESTAMENT Acts 10:34-43 Peter's proclamation of Jesus
PSALM 118:1-2,14-24 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone
EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 Christ ... the first fruits of those who have died
GOSPEL Luke 24:1-12 The women find the tomb empty and tell Peter and the others

HYMN 287 The strife is o'er, the battle done
SERMON
THE NICENE CREED [Back of the Hymn Book]

OFFERING [Singing group: Jesus set us free]
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations and requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE Including `A Litany for Easter':
[After each part] ..... let us pray to the Lord. Hear us Lord of Glory!
THE COLLECT FOR THE DAY

The Lord's Supper


THE PEACE
HYMN SA 2 Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord
OR Be present now dear risen Lord

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Thanks and praise ..... in the eternal hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We thank you ....
[The great prayer of thanksgiving continues, recalling God's goodness in caring for his people, the life and saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ, how he commanded his disciples to remember him with the bread and the wine, and we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit on us and what we do.]

THE LORD'S PRAYER
BREAKING THE BREAD
THE LAMB OF GOD
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.

COMMUNION
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 303 Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son

WORD OF MISSION
BLESSING
DISMISSAL
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

NOTES

The Easter Candle

The Uniting Church, in common with other churches in recent years, has revived some ancient symbols. The Easter or Paschal candle is a symbol with a liturgy in the Western Church that can be traced back at least to the seventh century. It signifies the resurrection and is lit for services throughout the Easter season until Pentecost, and again whenever there is a baptism when the candidate's candle is traditionally lit from it to remind us of the connection between baptism and the resurrection faith, baptism being a sign of dying to an old life and rising to a new life with Christ. In the early church Easter was the time for baptisms. In some churches the Paschal candle is also lit for funerals to signify new life in Christ after death.

'A Canticle for Easter' is from Uniting in Worship, People's Book adapted from the Liturgy for the Easter Vigil of the Roman Catholic Church. `A Litany for Easter' is in Uniting in Worship, People's Book and comes from the Book of Alternative Services, 1985, Anglican Church of Canada.

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