Sunday at St Andrew's

Sunday 4 April 2021

10 am on Zoom 

streamed from the 10 am service in Church 

service in Church repeated at 4.30.pm by advance booking only

A Celebration of Easter

Speaker: Phil Rodd

‘Making sense of Easter’ 

 

If you find this type difficult to read, 

please look at this page.

 

A version of the talk in video format will be available on the St Andrew’s channel on YouTube, from later on Sunday 28 March. 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Leader:  Alleluia. Christ is risen.

All:        He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

 

Leader:   Praise the God and Father 

             of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All:        He has given us new life and hope.

             He has raised Jesus from the dead.

 

Leader:   Alleluia. Christ is risen.

All:        He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

 

             Faithful one, whose word is life:

             come with saving power

to free our praise,

inspire our prayer

and shape our lives

for the kingdom of your Son,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

  Amen.

 

HYMN: Jesus Christ is risen today

 

‘MAKING SENSE OF EASTER’

 

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

 

Leader:   Jesus Christ, risen Master and triumphant Lord,

we come to you in sorrow for our sins,

and confess to you our weakness and unbelief.

 

Leader:   We have lived by our own strength,

and not by the power of your resurrection.

             In your mercy, forgive us.

All:        Lord, hear us and help us.

 

Leader:   We have lived by the light of our own eyes,

as faithless and not believing.

In your mercy, forgive us.

All:        Lord, hear us and help us.

 

Leader:   We have lived for this world alone,

and doubted our home in heaven.

In your mercy, forgive us.

All:        Lord, hear us and help us.

 

Leader:   May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.

All:        Amen.

 

THE COLLECT

 

Leader:   God of glory,

by the raising of your Son

you have broken the chains of death and hell:

fill your Church with faith and hope;

for a new day has dawned

and the way to life stands open

in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

All:        Amen.

 

HYMN: Alleluia alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord 

 

FIRST READING

Isaiah chapter 25 verses 6-9 

Praise for Judgment and Salvation

 

Reader:  This is the Word of the Lord.

All:        Thanks be to God.

 

HYMN: In Christ alone my hope is found

 

SECOND READING 

Mark chapter 16 verses 1-8

 

Reader:  Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

All:        Glory to you, O Lord.

 

The Resurrection of Jesus

 

Reader:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:        Praise to you, O Christ.

 

TALK (Phil Rodd)

‘Making Sense of Easter’

 

Have you ever felt scared – you know, really frightened…?  We have a bit of a love-hate relationship with fear, really, don’t we?  I mean, it’s awful when you’re really scared, isn’t it? – you know, when it’s the middle of the night, and you’re tucked up in bed, and there’s a creaking on the stairs below.  Aah! – something’s coming up the stairs!  

 

And yet, there’s something about fear that we just love, isn’t it?  I mean, how many of us here, I wonder, like watching scary films?  Or going on a scary theme park ride?  Or reading a thriller?...  

 

Yes, many of us love that feeling when the hairs stand up on the back of our neck, don’t we?  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s just that feeling of excitement – you just don’t know what’s going to happen.  And the thing is, much of life is pretty humdrum, especially when we’re all pent up at home, with the same people day in, day out.  It’s all so predictable!  Just give me some excitement – just let something happen out of the ordinary for once – just for once!

 

It was a bit like that for the women who went to Jesus’ tomb on that first Easter morning.  They were a bit scared about what they were going to find.  Well, yes, if you think about it, there was quite a lot to be scared of.  Soldiers – heavily armed soldiers; dead bodies; unpleasant smells; ghosts – and maybe you can think of other things as well.

 

And yes, even the words of the ‘young man’, the angel, would have seemed a bit frightening, wouldn’t they?  

 

‘Do not be alarmed.’  Oh yes, it’s always scary when someone says ‘Don’t be alarmed, don’t be frightened’!  You just know that something bad is on its way, don’t you?!  And that was exactly how the women reacted – OK, they didn’t exactly run away screaming (like it was some horror movie) – but we are told that they ran out of the tomb, seized by fear and amazement.

 

But the angel did manage to get something else in before they ran off:  ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.  Now go and tell his disciples, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.’

 

It’s scary, you see, because they were expecting one thing, and they ended up with something totally different.  They were expecting to find a dead body, which they were going to anoint with those special perfumes – the spices they’d brought with them.  They were expecting to be filled with grief, and to be very tearful.  But instead of that, they’re met by an empty tomb, and an angel – and it seems they spend the rest of the day rushing about telling various sceptical disciples what they’ve seen.  And on top of all that, they’re given an errand to carry out – a job to do.  To go to Galilee – up in the north of the country.  Quite a long journey.  And that was where they were going to meet the risen Jesus in person.  

 

You see, the point is that it was pretty scary for those first followers of Jesus.  It was exciting as well.  Because they never quite knew what God had in mind for them.  And those women who were going to Jesus’ tomb early in the morning – they had no idea they’d be the first ones given the task of telling the good news of the resurrection, and they had no idea they’d end the day being sent on a long journey.  

 

And ever since then, it’s been the same for those who want to follow Jesus.  It’s an exciting life – a fulfilling life, as well.  And the thing about those first disciples was that they were ordinary people, simple people, poor for the most part; but they made themselves available to the risen Jesus.  And you know, the Bible doesn’t say that the angel sat them down and answered all their questions; he didn’t solve all their problems, sort out all their doubt, and then send them on their errands.  Not a bit of it.  Really, they were still confused and frightened – but even with their confusion and their fear, God could still use them for the next task ahead of them.  And how he used them!  Changing – transforming – hearts and minds, of ordinary people and top dogs alike – such that within just a couple of hundred years, the known world was a very different place.

 

You know, the world has changed hugely since then – and not all for the good.  Just think of the tensions, the terrorism, the unrest over race-related matters, the growing concerns over the abuse in many schools – and of course, the future of the planet itself – that one big ‘tension’ that sits there, the elephant in the room that won’t go away.  

 

But you know, I think some of us want to have all our questions magicked away.  You know, ‘Once I get this sorted out, or once all the pandemic restrictions are lifted, or once I’ve had my jab (or my second jab), and I’ve had chance to go on a nice holiday somewhere –  then I’ll get serious with the big issues – then I’ll do a deal with God, and I may even follow serve Jesus properly.’  And on this Easter morning, God’s answer to us is, ‘No, I’ll take you now, just as you are – you’re valuable to me as you are, with those doubts, your fears, your questions.’

 

So let’s respond to him as those women did, those fearful women who brought what they could – their fears and their confusions, and still did what God wanted them to.  And they took the good news of Jesus’ new life from one end of the country to the other – and on and on!  Their lives were transformed through the life of the risen Jesus living in them, and they transformed the world they knew.  

 

A version of this talk in video format will be available on the St Andrew’s channel on YouTube, from later on Sunday 28 March. 

 

AFFIRMING WHAT WE BELIEVE

 

Leader:   Let us declare our faith

in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

All:        Christ died for our sins

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he was buried;

he was raised to life on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures;

afterwards he appeared to his followers,

and to all the apostles:

this we have received,

and this we believe.

All:        Amen.                                 cf 1 Corinthians 15.3-7

 

 

BRINGING OUR PRAYERS TO GOD

 

Leader:   We pray to Jesus 

             who is present with us to eternity.

 

             Jesus, light of the world,

bring the light and peace of your gospel 
to the nations …

 

             Jesus, Lord of life,

All:        in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, bread of life,

give food to the hungry …

and nourish us all with your word.

 

             Jesus, Lord of life,

All:        in your mercy, hear us.

 

Jesus, our way, our truth, our life,

be with us and all who follow you in the way …

Deepen our appreciation of your truth

and fill us with your life.

 

             Jesus, Lord of life,

All:        in your mercy, hear us.

 

Jesus, Good Shepherd who gave your life 

for the sheep,

recover the straggler,

bind up the injured,

strengthen the sick

and lead the healthy and strong to new pastures.

 

             Jesus, Lord of life,

All:        in your mercy, hear us.

 

Jesus, the resurrection and the life,

we give you thanks for all who have lived 

and believed in you …

 

Raise us with them to eternal life.

             Jesus, Lord of life,

All:        in your mercy, hear us.

             accept our prayers, and be with us always.

             Amen.

 

THE PEACE

 

Leader: We are the body of Christ.

All:        In the one Spirit we were all baptized 

             into one body.

 

             Let us then pursue all that makes for peace

All:        and builds up our common life.

 

             The peace of the Lord be always with you

All:        and also with you.

 

             Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

 

HYMN: Alleluia alleluia, hearts to heaven and voices raise  and accompaniment

 

COMMUNION 

 

FINAL HYMN: Thine be the glory

 

THE BLESSING

 

May Christ, who out of defeat

brings new hope and a new future,

Fill you with his new life;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,

be with you, evermore.

All:          Amen.

 

FINAL WORDS OF PRAISE

 

Leader:    Alleluia. Christ is risen.

All:          He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

 

Leader:    Praise the God and Father 

              of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All:          He has given us new life and hope.

              He has raised Jesus from the dead.

 

Leader:    God has claimed us as his own.

All:          He has brought us out of darkness.

    He has made us light to the world.

 

Leader:    Alleluia. Christ is risen.

All:          He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

 

 

Church of England logo


Printer Printable Version