Easter Sunday – 4/12/20

To support Cokesbury financially, you can give online here: http://cokesburyumc.church/about/
The Better Place – Mark 16.1-8

GATHERING

Prayer:
Lord, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of salvation: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

Announcements: 
In keeping with Governor Northam and Bishop Lewis, we will not be gathering in-person at least through the end of April. The cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in our community and across the country so please, as much as is possible, maintain social distancing, excellent hygiene, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Until we are back together in person, online giving can be made on our About page on the church website, cokesburyumc.church which will be linked in the video description for live worship as well as checks through the mail.We’ve been sending out regular emails from the church about opportunities for online Bible Studies, devotionals, prayer requests, and updates on our local community. If you are not receiving those emails, and would like to, please send an email to cokesburyumc@gmail.com

A Prayer For Easter:
Lord, we confess that we’d like to return to normalcy. We have families to tend, churches to serve, and jobs to do. How can we do all that not knowing when we can go back to the way things were? Can we ever go back? Can our lives ever be normal? Of course not, Lord, for you have made us your people, which means the world was actually changed forever 2,000 years ago on the cross and in the empty tomb. For, in those things, you dragged us into your surprising kingdom, compelling us to see how you make something of our nothing. In the wake of Jesus’ death and resurrection you give us time to learn what it means to truly love one another. We therefore pray for your guidance at a time such as this that we might remember who we are and whose we are…

And as you taught us, so now we pray… Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. 

PROCLAIMING

Scripture: Mark 16.1-8
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. 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.

Hymn 310 – He Lives
V1. I serve a risen Savior, he’s in the world today;
I know that he is living, whatever foes may say.
I see his hand of mercy, I hear his voice of cheer,
And just the time I need him, he’s always near
Refrain
He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.
V2. In all the world around me I see his loving care, 
And though my heart grows weary, I never will despair.
I know that he is leading through all the stormy blast;
The day of his appearing will come at last.
Refrain
V3. Rejoice, rejoice O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek him, the help of all who find; 
None other is so loving, so good and kind. 
Refrain

Sermon: The Better Place

RESPONDING

Prayer:
Lord, in the mystery of dying and rising with Christ you have upended the world and brought life, new life, to your church. Breathe upon us again with your Spirit and give new life to your people, be with those who are not able to be with their families and friends this day, give us the strength and the wisdom to be the kind of people you’ve called us to be, and give us the hope to rejoice knowing that death has been defeated in you. Amen.

Offering – Reminder for online, through the mail, or the drop slot at the church. 

Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. 

Party Like It’s Easter:
NT Wright once famously said that Easter is when Christians should be pulling out the champagne. After all, today is a celebration of the greatest victory in the history of time – and if that’s not worth having a party over, nothing is. So, wherever you are and whatever you’ve got going on in your life, find a way to celebrate today. Have a particular bottle stashed away for a special occasion? Pop it open! Have a favorite song you like to belt along to? Crank it up to eleven! Missing the opportunity to proclaim the Good News with other Christians? Open your front door and shout “He Is Risen!” as loud as you possibly can.

Jesus loved to party and celebrate, that’s why so many of his parables end with a feast. Make space and time for a little feast in your life today, and know that it is a foretaste of the Supper of the Lamb that goes on forever and ever.