Home Service 5

Sunday 12 April 2020 – Easter Sunday. To be used in conjunction with Read mark, Learn – 2020-04-12 Easter Day

There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall
Where the dear Lord was crucified and died to save us all.

I’ve (Peter R) been thinking a lot about mountains recently. In these strange days of restrictions and isolation, does it seem as though we have a mountain to climb? How high and how long this journey will take is unknown, but I’m sure that all of us will share a sense of longing for life to return to normal.

The disciples were devastated after the crucifixion, I wonder if they had a sense of longing to see Jesus again? The gospels record various reactions to the Resurrection; John’s gospel records the disciples as being overjoyed when they saw the Lord. On Easter Day we celebrate what Jesus has achieved for us. He climbed the mountain we didn’t have to climb. He took all our sin, our shame, our worries, our disbelief to the top of a hill and nailed them with his own life. He defeated death, now raised to life, our victorious King of Kings!

Let’s pray together (saying out loud)
Christ is risen!
Hallelujah!
Risen Lord Jesus, we thank you for our freedom, our liberty, our salvation. Risen Lord Jesus, we worship you!

Song: ‘Crown Him with Many Crowns’ by Matthew Bridges & Godfrey Thring
https://youtu.be/YuMh_ept-Js

Crown him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon his throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own:
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless king
Through all eternity.
Crown him the Lord of life
Who triumphed o’er the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife
For those he came to save;
His glories now we sing
Who died, and rose on high.
Who died, eternal life to bring
And lives that death may die.
Crown him the Lord of love!
Behold his hands and side,–
Those wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified:
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye
At mysteries so bright!
Crown him the Lord of years!
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime!
All hail! Redeemer,Hail!
For Thou hast died for me;
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity!

If you could list all the things that concern or trouble you right now, I imagine it would be very long. It may be helpful to write down a few names of people you have concerns for, or situations you long for to be better. What hope do you hold on to?

Song: ‘How Great the Chasm’ by Phil Wickham
https://youtu.be/9f2FXxDVO6w
How great the chasm that lay between us

How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation, I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night
Then through the darkness,
Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished, the end is written
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Who could imagine so great a mercy?
What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame
The cross has spoken, I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own
Beautiful Saviour, I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me
Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me
Jesus, Yours is the victory, whoa!
Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Oh God, You are my living hope

In prayer let us bring before God: –

  • The NHS and the invaluable work they are doing throughout the land.
  • Our Government, as they wrestle with responsible actions.
  • Our friends, families and loved ones we long to see again.
  • All our churches and the communities they serve.
  • Present your own list and requests before God.

On the first Easter morning, Jesus didn’t reveal himself to a whole church or gathered community. He appeared to individuals. Some of us will be reflecting on the Easter events by ourselves. The disciples were overjoyed by what happened. How are you reacting to the news, ‘Christ has risen’?

Song: ‘See, What a Morning’ by Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
https://youtu.be/z0aKC3KxTb0
See, what a morning, gloriously bright,
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce, “Christ is risen!”
See God’s salvation plan,
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!
See Mary weeping, “Where is He laid?”
As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb;
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name;
It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!
The voice that spans the years,
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us,
Will sound till He appears,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!
One with the Father, Ancient of Days,
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty.
Honour and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with power and authority!
And we are raised with Him,
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered;
And we shall reign with Him,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

In prayer let us reflect using these words from an old chorus:

Living, He loved me.
Dying, He saved me.
Buried, He carried my sin far away.
Rising, He justified, freely forever.
One day He’s coming,
O glorious day.

‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.’

These words from Psalm 118 were shouted by the crowds on Palm Sunday. They are also the words of the ‘Benedictus’. The composer Karl Jenkins uses these words with dramatic effect as part of his choral work The Armed Man. Those of you who can access ‘You Tube’ may like to ‘slow down, meditate and pray’ while you watch these extraordinary cosmic images. https://youtu.be/ibwxzxER_pY