Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you know, due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 it is currently advised that public worship should be postponed. So, as we gather in our individual homes this Easter, please feel free to use these resources to guide your Worship @ Home.
from St John’s Worship Team.
Growing in faith; reaching out in love
Sunrise is at 6:46am on Easter Sunday.
Start at 6:30 am with an outside breakfast picnic –
e.g. some hot cross buns, boiled eggs, a thermos of Milo.
Find ‘east’ and look in that direction.
Sit quietly and try to imagine the grieving women packing their bags and heading off towards the tomb.
What would it have been like for them on that quiet Sunday morning?
As the sun rises: say the following phrase three times, each time a little bit louder…
He is risen
He is risen indeed
Read aloud the story of Jesus’ resurrection. You can use the following scripture, or read the Easter morning story from one of your favourite family bibles.
John 20:1-18 “The Empty Tomb”
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
At this stage you may like to ‘find’ some Easter Eggs in your garden. Crack them open – notice that they are empty, just like the tomb.
Create a living cross in your garden – this will be a focal point in a moment when we start to pray. You may like to play one of your favourite worship songs while you do this.
Here are some ideas of how to make a living cross:
- Use twigs and sticks to outline a solid shape of the cross on the ground. Now fill that shape with flowers, leaves, flameless candles, streamers, coloured paper, etc..
- If you have been doing the Easter Tree Activity during the week, remove the black cloth that you had placed on it on Saturday and decorate the branch with flowers, paper butterflies or paper streamers.
- Use coloured chalk to draw a beautiful living cross (e.g. a cross filled with flowers) on some pavement or a wall.
- Paint or sketch a living cross covered in flowers on a canvas or on some paper or cardboard
- Build a cross out of some branches. Wrap string around it. Pick leaves and flowers and attach them to the cross using the string.
- Move all your pot plants into a cross shape.
Once you have created your cross – take time to reflect on how God brings life from death, how God brings hope into despair and how God brings joy into sadness.
Now is the time to give glory and praise to God.
Thank God for giving us light and hope and life and forgiveness.
Thank God for all his gifts – name these aloud.
Thank God for the precious people in your life – name them aloud and ask God to protect them at this time.
And tell God of any despair or sadness in your life, knowing that he hears your tears.
Use your own words in this prayer.
You may like to continue with the Lords Prayer.
Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our sins, As we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
Now and forever. Amen
If you are with your family, take turns to give each other the mark of the cross on your foreheads.
As you draw the cross on someones forehead say: He is risen!
As someone draws the cross on your forehead, respond with: He is risen indeed!
If you are by yourself, simply say these words again.
Enjoy the rest of your Easter Sunday. You may like to check out the Easter Service Page on the website for some music and to listen to Pastor Milton’s Sermon.
Every blessing to you this most Holy of Days.