Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

Title:Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

  Sunday, April 5, 2015, Easter  (full size gallery)

Easter Sunday, the culmination of  Holy Week!

Easter celebrates the reality of Jesus’ resurrection in all its many aspects. Hope, Transformation, Evangelism and a new life.   

We started out at the Sunrise Service at the Long’s House, bright and early at 6:30am. The weather was one of the best in the four years we have attended – it rivalled 2011.  There was definitely a chill in the air but all worth it to worship in one of the most beautiful spots on the Rappahannock

Jim Heinbach introduced the service saying it was the 25th anniversary of the service. Alex later related a story of the first one. He woke up on that Easter morning and asked, "Nancy, what are all of those people doing in our yard ?" Apparently he did not know in advance of the first service!

The three churches in Port Royal supported this service – St. Peter’s, Memorial Baptist and Shiloh Baptist. Bobby Greene at Memorial sang and provided the benediction. The talented singers and band from Shiloah provided some vocal numbers.

St. Peter’s had a prominent role – Helmut as the chairman of the Ruritans providing the opening prayer, Catherine and Helmut leading the group with the music at the beginning and end. Alex reading the Apostle’s Creed and Catherine’s sermon.  Her sermon is here

She passed around candles and there was a light shared relating a tradition from Jerusalem
"Now it’s our turn on this side of the world.
"It’s our turn to receive the light of Christ. (Light candles, beginning at the end of each row.)
"It’s our turn to let God breathe on us, it’s our turn to breathe in God’s peace, it’s our turn to receive the Holy Spirit.
"It’s our turn put away our fear, and to carry God’s light and peace into the world and to do our parts to help God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done here on earth.

The reception had as many egg dishes as you can imagine, donuts, fruit and beverages. A wonderful time

We had 61 at our 11am Easter service which is close to the average over the last few years. There were some notable contributions. Charles McGuire provided the wonderful flower arrangement up front with the lilies adorned with cherry blossoms and curly willow.  Cally had a gold egg and a basked of easter eggs to share with the Godly play children. Bonnets galore – it was wonderful seeing Myrtle there. Other bonnets present included Cookie, Andrea, Cherry (back from Florida), Marilyn and Barbara. Barbara was in a wheel chair but made it anyway. 

Easter is a time of celebration and that included music with Josh Sylke on the trumpet echoing the hymns, Brad performing the intricate " Prelude and Fugue in A-minor " (Bach) and the Helmut adding "Alleluia" during communion. The bulletin is here . We also received numerous Easter gifts. 

The sermon utlized the popular 1960’s television series "Dragnet"

Those of us of a certain age may remember the TV show popular back in the late 60’s—Dragnet, starring Detective Joe Friday.  “Just the facts, ma’am.” And that’s exactly what we get from Mark about the resurrection."

The reading is from the Mark depicting the three women, Mary Magdealene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome visiting the tomb and greeted by an angel in white."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."

"To me, the most surprising thing about Mark’s story is that Jesus has gone back to where it all started, back to where he and the disciples and his friends had all lived and worked and traveled around together—Galilee, where Jesus had healed people, and fed people and taught people to love and to forgive one another—Jesus has gone back to Galilee.

"But the fact is that Jesus is with us in Galilee, Galilee being the stuff of daily life. Jesus, our Risen Lord, is with us around our kitchen tables, sitting with us at our computers, riding along on our tractors, present as we drive through congested traffic, walking down school hallways with us. No matter where we are, or what we are doing, our Risen Lord is there.

"Jesus goes ahead of us into all of the unexpected places and hard places where we have to go in our lives. Jesus is already there when we find ourselves in places like the ICU, waiting and watching as a beloved family member struggles to hold onto life"

Often we are where we expect not to be – and Jesus is there too. Quoting an article by Meghann Cotter in the Free Lance-Star who is head of Micah Ministries in Fredericksburg.  "And she has found herself, in this familiar place, going into some dark, deep unfamiliar places. Meghann says that when we do God’s work, “the moments that are most likely to bring about the greatest change for good in the world will be the last places we want to be.”

"Because he is with us and because he helps us, even our simple lives will make a positive difference in our little places in this world.

"This early morning story of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary going to see the tomb reminds us to look with expectation at simple things like the lens of a beloved’s glasses in buried in the dirt, to hold the rock of a murdered friend, and to see the kingdom of God breaking in and bringing with it new life, even in death."

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