April 9 – Worship Service – Easter Sunday

April 2 – Worship Service – Palm Sunday/Communion
April 3, 2023
April 16 – Worship Service – Holy Humor Sunday
April 24, 2023

April 9 – Worship Service – Easter Sunday


    Rev Lohnes   

Sunday April 9, 2023 – Easter Sunday


Introit                                                                                                       VU#158
Christ is alive, and comes to bring good news to this and every age,
till earth and sky and ocean ring with joy, with justice, love and praise.
© 1975 Hope Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. OneLicense.net#A-723756   

Lighting the Christ Candle
Resurrection starts in darkness, the light of the world has gone out.  Then slowly, with the dawning of a new day, light begins to reappear.  The fire that was once extinguished begins to glow again.  The light returns.  The flame is rekindled. (Light the Christ Candle)  He is not dead.  He lives again. 

Hallelujah!  Christ is Risen!

Call to Worship
Joy breaks through each Easter
Not coming on cautious tiptoes, but running, jumping dancing.

Joy breaks through each Easter
Not coming with quiet whispers, but with glad shouts of “alleluia”.

Joy breaks through each Easter
Waking us from our complacent slumber and calling us to new life

Joy breaks through each Easter
Just as it did that first Easter, surprising us anew.

Joy breaks through each Easter
Taking us by the hand and leading us in a dance of joy and praise.

Joy breaks through each Easter
Stopping us in our tracks with the amazing news, “He is not here.  He has risen.”

Hallelujah.  Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

Opening Hymn           I Danced in the Morning                                   #352

Scripture Reading     Matthew 28:1-10
After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  The guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men.

The angel spoke to the women. “You must not be afraid,” he said.  “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said.  Come here and see the place where he was lying.

Go quickly now, and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from death, and now he is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him!’ Remember what I have told you.”

So they left the tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Peace be with you.”  They came up to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.  “Do not be afraid,” Jesus said to them. “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

The Impossible Happened

On the first Easter morning the impossible happened.

The massive stone that had been rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb had been moved away from the entrance. 

All that was left to see were the grave clothes. 

Inside the tomb where Jesus’ body had lain, there was now no sign of it. 

Take a look at the Easter egg.  When you break it open what do you find?  Nothing……that’s right…..nothing. 

That’s what Jesus’ disciples found when they went to his tomb.

On the first Easter morning the impossible happened.  Say it with me …

the impossible happened.

Not only was the tomb empty but Jesus met the women as they returned to tell the disciples what they had seen!

On the first Easter morning … the impossible happened.  

Death was defeated…..and Jesus was raised to life. Death could not keep Jesus in the grave.  This is the promise of resurrection.  This is the promise of Easter, that on that first Easter morning … the impossible happened.


Hymn        Christ the Lord Is Risen Today                        #157

So what does Jesus rising from the dead mean for us today?  

Well, let’s look at it through FAITH.

F stands for Forgiveness

In our own lives, each of us has rebelled against God.  We like to think we would never have been part of the crowd demanding Jesus’ death, but would we have had the courage to stand up and protest?  There are times that we have ignored the things we know we should have done and there are times we have said or done things we know we shouldn’t.

If we had to earn God’s love and forgiveness none of us could.  But we don’t have to.  Jesus came to teach us that God’s love already forgives us if we only accept that love.  Luke tells us that when the risen Christ appeared to his disciples he left them this message.  (Luke 24:46-47)

[Jesus] told them: The Scriptures say that the Messiah must suffer, then three days later he will rise from death.  They also say that all people of every nation must be told in my name to turn to God, in order to be forgiven. 

The sins we commit, are like a chain that wraps around us and prevents us from recognizing or accepting God’s offer of forgiveness.  So, I want you to open the white bags you were handed as you entered and take out the three black pipe cleaners.  Think about the things that your find hardest to forgive yourself for.  Now take those pipe cleaner and link them together to symbolize the chains within your own life that make it difficult to accept forgiveness.   Hold that chain in your hands as we offer this prayer.

Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us God’s love and God’s promise of forgiveness for all our sins.  On this Resurrection Day, please search our hearts and show us the sins we need to confess and turn away from.  Touch our hearts with your forgiveness and set us free.  Amen. 

As we sing our next hymn, I’m going to ask for a couple of volunteers to gather up all those small chains and bring them forward.

Hymn        This Joyful Eastertide                                        #177

As I lay this chain at the foot of the cross, we symbolically lay all our sins before God.

A stands for Acceptance

Easter promises that we are not only forgiven, but we are accepted, not as servants but as friend.  The Gospel According to John reminds us of what Jesus told his disciples. (John 15:15)

Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants.  I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything my Father has told me.

Now you can open your bags again and take out the smiley face sticker.  As you stick it onto your clothes, know that God is smiling at you because God love you as family and friends.

Request Hymn           This seems like a perfect place to sing our Request Hymn for today #395   Come In and Sit Down

I stands for Intention 

Through Jesus’ teachings, Jesus’ example and Jesus’ death and resurrection we, have been given meaning, purpose and direction in our lives.  By following Jesus’ example, we are invited to become part of Christ’s mission in the world.  Jesus calls us to not only change ourselves, but by living in his image, to change the world with Him.  We do this in many ways, in the helping hand we offer someone else, in the kind word we say to someone who feels alone, in the prayers we offer for those in need and in the ways in which we stand up for and speak out on behalf of the marginalized and abuse.

Open your bags once more, and this time take out the note cards.  You can use these to keep track of your prayers or to write down your intentions as you commit yourself to following the risen Christ.

T is for Thanksgiving

Jesus’ resurrection reminds us of how much we have, to be thankful for.  And so, as we remember the amazing gift that God gave us on the first Easter morning, we take a moment to consider what we have to offer God.

We Offer our Gifts

Here at Beacon, we do not pass our offering plates.  Instead, we ask you to place your offering on the plates in the entryway either as you enter or as you leave.  You can also make donations to our church online or through PAR.  But as we bring these gifts forward, we are reminded that our financial support is only one of the many gifts we have to offer.  Our time, our talents, our commitment and our prayers are just as important.  So, as we bring our offering forward, let us join in singing our offertory response.

Offertory Response                                                             VU#549
For all your goodness, God, we give you thanks.
And so, we offer you, all that we have and do,
to serve and honour you and give you thanks.
©Daryl Nixon 1987, All Rights Reserved. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. OneLicense.net#A-723756

H is for Hope

On the first Easter morning … the impossible happened.  

The tomb was empty.  Jesus was raised from the dead.  Jesus conquered death.

And through his resurrection, we have been offered a fantastic hope for the future.   Death was not the end for Jesus and it will not the end for us.  We have been promised new life beyond the grave. 

Open your bags one more time.  This time take out the Sunflower seed.  When you look at it, it appears to be completely dead.  But we know that if we plant it, water it and care for it, this little seed with grow into a beautiful Sunflower.  

This little seed, and hopefully the Sunflower that will grow from it, reminds us not only of the new life that is promised to us beyond death, but also the new life we are called to live each day as we commit ourselves to seek forgiveness, to accept ourselves and others as we have been accepted, to follow Christ’s intention for our lives, to constantly offer our thanks and to always hold tightly to the hope that we have through the promises of God revealed to us in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

Easter Egg Prayer
And now I invite you to join me in an Easter Egg Prayer.  You may want to keep your eyes open as we use the symbol of chocolate Easter Eggs in our prayer. 

Let us pray.

Resurrected Christ,

as we look at the broken pieces of this Easter egg, it reminds us of our world; broken by sin and rebellion. Thank you for your promise of forgiveness.   Help us to never forget what that promise cost you.  Risen Lord, hear our prayer … 

When we look at the empty Easter egg, we are reminded of the empty tomb and we are reminded that on the first Easter morning, the impossible happened.  We ask that you would breathe your Resurrection life into each one of us so that, in all that we say and in all that we do, we can serve you better, bringing your love and hope to others. Risen Lord, hear our prayer … 

As we look at this Easter egg overflowing with treats of all kinds, we are reminded of your goodness.  Thank you for the many blessings that you pour into our lives every day of our lives.  Help us to always remember that your goodness, your blessing, your promise and your love are not just for Easter but for each day of our lives.  Help us to go out into your world and share the good news of your love, compassion and deep joy with all those we meet. Risen Lord, hear our prayer.  Amen.

Closing Hymn             This Is the Day That God Has Made               #175

Sending Out
There is one more thing in you Easter bags.  It is a candle.  As you go out from here today, let it be a reminder that you are called to take the light of Christ with you into every aspect of your life.  Allow it to shine in dark places, bringing light to those in need.  Allow it to shine in moments of happiness, bringing new and deeper meaning to your joy.  Allow it to shine for all those around you so that they will see Christ reflected in you.  And allow it to shine in your heart so that everywhere you go in everything you do, you will remember that God is with you, that Christ’s example leads you, and that the Spirit walk with and within you, now and always.  Go with God.

Choral Blessing                                                                                      VU#169
Your name we bless, O Risen Lord, and sing today with one accord
The life laid down, the life restored: hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.
© 1958 renewal 1986 Hope Publishing Company All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. OneLicense.net#A-723756   

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