Easter Sunday Worship
April 4, 2021
 
GREETINGS AND WELCOME  
                               
Pastor:                He is risen.
People:               He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
 
CALL TO WORSHIP:  Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
 
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
 
I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
 
The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
Thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
 
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
  
PRAYEROF THE DAY
 
O God, you gave your only Son      
to suffer death on the cross for our redemption,    
and by his glorious resurrection         
you delivered us from the power of death.
Make us die every day to sin,          
that we may live with him forever   
in the joy of the resurrection,
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.
 
Acts 10:34-43: Gentiles Hear the Good News
 
Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how 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. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not 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. He 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. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’
 
Word of God, Word of Life
Thanks be to God!
 
Gospel: Mark 16:1-8: The Resurrection of Jesus
 
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
 
Word of God, Word of Life
Thanks be to God!
 
Sermon: “Prolepsis”
 
Would you like to add a new word to your vocabulary? It is prolepsis. A prolepsis is that little paragraph that introduces an article and tells you everything that is to come. A prolepsis is the down payment on a house; now you own it but in the future when you make the final mortgage payment you’ll really own it. A prolepsis is that first kiss that makes you ask, “am I married now?”
 
The Easter resurrection is a prolepsis. When God raised Jesus on that first Easter morning, God also promised to raise you and me at the future consummation of all things. In fact, Jesus’ Easter resurrection combined with your and my resurrection constitute one single event, at least from God’s point of view. How do I know God’s point of view? Well, I think I figured this out from reading the Bible.
 
We think of Jesus as God’s incarnate son. That is, what is spirit takes on flesh. The Easter prolepsis is the same thing, only it has to do with time. The future becomes present. God’s future redemption of all things is accomplished ahead of time in Jesus. We now wait for God to finish the job, so to speak.
 
This is why Saint Paul says that we live between the times. Easter is “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
 
He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!
Happy Prolepsis Day!
 
APOSTLES CREED
 
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from then he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
 
Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring our prayers before God who promises to hear us and answer in steadfast love.
 
A brief silence.
 
Praise to you for your power revealed in the resurrection! Fill your church with the power of your love that is stronger than death. Send us to tell the good news wherever death holds sway.
 
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
 
Praise to you for your life at work in the resurrection! Fill all of creation with your life. Bring it to blossom and flourish; use it to      
remind us of your persistent grace. Cultivate our care for what you have made.
 
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great
 
Praise to you for the peace made possible in the resurrection! Fill the nations with your peace. Draw together people of all nations and languages; reveal new possibilities and inspire new beginnings.
 
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
 
Praise to you for the hope of the resurrection! Fill all in need with hope: those who are afraid or confused, those who are sick or suffering, those who are dying, and those who grieve. Assure them of your promises.
  
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
 
Praise to you for the joy of your resurrection! Fill this assembly with joy as we are called your beloved in baptism. Multiply that joy so that we share it at home, at work, and in our community.
  
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
 
Praise to you for your faithfulness revealed in the resurrection! Fill our youth who affirmed their baptism and took their first communion today with trust and the belief that we join a body of people who acknowledge that: “your mercy endures forever!”
  
Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
 
In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.
 
Words of Institution
 
Lord’s Prayer
 
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.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Amen.
 
At this time, munch the communion wafer and follow it with one sip of the wine (or grape juice). Pause silently for a moment of thanksgiving.
 
May the body of our Lord Jesus Christ and his holy and precious blood abide with you now and forever.
Amen.
 
Benediction
 
Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us now and forever.
Amen.
 
Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.