It’s Easter 2021!

Title:It’s Easter 2021!

 Easter Sunday (full size gallery)

The day started out cool and cloudy and then warmed up with the sun coming out about 9am. Such an important transition for resurrection Sunday!

We had 40 in attendance which included 4 online through Zoom. The inhouse attendance was at a maximum based on pandemic guidelines. This was only the second Sunday service we have been open.

A highlight of Sunday was the music. Andy Cortez provided a festive note with his trumpet. He had a workout, with opening hymn “Jesus Christ is Risen Today”, “The Day of Resurrection” as the concluding hymn and “Trumpet Voluntary” as the postlude. Helmut added his violin on Mozart’s “Alleluia”. Brad was featured in the prelude “Prelude and Fugue in C Major” by J. S. Bach. The music was warmly received by the congregation.

Also to be mentioned was Charles McGuire’s Calla Lilies which provided company to the Easter lilies. The lilies were on the altar and all the windows.

Since there was no gathered service in 2020 due to the pandemic, this service had a special meaning as we are finding new life in our fight over the pandemic.

The sermon tried to give voice to this fact – “On this day the Lord has acted! We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

“God is constantly opening a way to new life for us and giving us strength to continue on that way together as God’s Easter people” despite our physical failings.”

“Our risen Lord is here with us right now. How should we respond to his presence with us?

“When we set aside our fears and trustingly love and serve one another, as God has loved us, even when we do so imperfectly, still, in spite of ourselves, we find Jesus present in our midst.

“Our journey home to God, is a matter of doing the most ordinary and loving things for one another as we journey in the “Way, the truth and the life” that is Jesus, our Lord.

Lectionary discussion for this Easter.

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.   

"The miracle of the resurrection is that time itself has started over. The new time has begun! Just as it was in the beginning, when the word was with God, the Word will be with God again. Jesus is ascending to the Father.

"In other words, in this new time that has begun with Jesus’ death and resurrection, the family relationship that was broken in the Garden of Eden has now been restored and healed.

From the sermon in 2018:

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.

"When Jesus appears to the rest of the disciples that evening he says to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And he breathes on them and says to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

"Jesus gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to be with us, to give us peace, and not only peace, but the strength and courage to love God and to be God’s gardeners on this earth and in this world, and to do all of that with joy, because God has resurrected Jesus from the dead.

"And Jesus, as in the beginning, is with God, and God is continually bringing new life and light into all of creation, through Jesus, the Word."