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Worship and sermon on April 21, 2019

overcast 60 °F

WORSHIP Aboard the Silver Whisper at sunrise on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019

HYMN: Jesus Christ is risen today!

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Easter mystery destroyed death and brought forth life: Grant that we may show forth in our lives what we profess by our faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 118:14-17, 22-24

The LORD is my strength and my song, *
and he has become my salvation.

There is a sound of exultation and victory *
in the tents of the righteous:

"The right hand of the LORD has triumphed! *
the right hand of the LORD is exalted!

I shall not die, but live, *
and declare the works of the LORD.

The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the LORD'S doing, *
and it is marvelous in our eyes.

On this day the LORD has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.

A Reading from the Gospel of Mark

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. (16:1-8)

A Reflection The Reverend William J. Eakins

We started to see signs of Easter many many weeks ago. We saw chocolate bunnies and jelly beans on sale in shops as long ago as Manila. A guide in China told us how she was making Easter baskets for her children. “But you’re a Buddhist,” we said, “Why do you celebrate a Christian holiday?” “I like making Easter baskets,” she explained, “and my children really love them.”
Easter celebrations are a lot of fun, and we should enjoy them. I love Easter baskets filled with jellybeans, chocolate bunnies, and marshmallow chicks. I love dyeing Easter eggs, and I love Easter egg hunts. And yet, each of us gathered here this morning hopes that the celebration of Easter is about much more than Easter baskets and Easter eggs, much more than bunnies and chicks as symbols of spring, nature renewing itself. Easter is the Good News about what God has done in raising Jesus Christ from the dead, Good News that brings joy and hope to all who receive it.
Easter first came to three women on their way to a tomb just as the sun’s first rays had appeared over the horizon. Jesus, the man they believed was God’s anointed One, had been crucified and with his death all their hopes for the future were over. They had been there when his mangled body was taken down from the cross. They had done what they could to give Jesus a decent burial. They had heard the heavy stone rolled across the tomb’s entrance.
That’s where the Christian story of Easter always begins: not in an idealized never never land, but in the real and imperfect world that we all know well, where there is wrongdoing and injustice, where might often triumphs over right, a world where there is political and racial division, sickness and death, betrayal and disappointment, broken relationships and hostility. The light and truth of Easter morning dawns first not upon the happy and satisfied but upon the poor in spirit.
The three women approach the tomb and are utterly astonished. Contrary to all expectation, the heavy stone has been rolled away. Upon entering the tomb they see a young man who tells them that Jesus is no longer there. His grave is empty. He has been raised from the dead. The women flee from the empty tomb in terror and amazement.
The Good News of Easter is always astonishing. It is astonishing because it is about much more than nature’s cycle of spring and winter, life and death. The Easter proclamation, “Christ is risen!” is not about nature, it is about God, God who loves the world so much that God became one with us, sparing nothing, not even the rejection and pain of the cross. Easter promises that sin and death do not have the final word. God does.
Easter, is not, however, just about something God has done: it is about something we must do as well. In the Gospel story, the messenger orders the women to “Go and tell” the Good News that “Christ is risen.” So overwhelmed are the women that at first they can do nothing but run away and hide. Yet we know that soon they were the first to tell others. Peter and the disciples not only heard the Good News of the empty tomb, they then encountered the Risen Christ and their world was turned upside down. 
The Good News of Ester is still “He is going before you, and you will see him.”
When guests on the Whisper spend months knitting blanket squares for orphans, when people around the world respond with generosity and compassion to rebuild Notre Dame and burned out churches in Louisiana, when Nelson Mandela comes out of 27 years of prison and can lead his country in a process of truth and reconciliation, when we see such things happen, they are signs that Christ lives and is making all things new.
The Risen Christ still goes before us into Galilee and into South Africa and into Namibia and invites us to meet him there in all of life, in hospitals and classrooms, in troubled families and joyous children, in the faces of the poor and in the corridors of power. And when we have found him and our lives are changed by hope, there is one more thing that we must do. Go and tell and live the Good News: “Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!”

The Prayers

On this Easter feast of hope and joy, let us bring before God the needs of our world with confidence, for the Lord is risen and walks among us!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We pray for all who live in fear of terrorism and racism, for all who struggle for freedom and peace, for the Lord is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We pray for the rulers of the nations, that they may govern with equity and justice, and work together for the common good, for the Lord is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We pray for ourselves, that through holiness of life and generosity of spirit we may reveal the vastness of your love, and that through the diversity of our belief and practice, we may witness to our unity under one Lord; for the Lord is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We pray for all who suffer, for the lonely and depressed, the hungry and homeless, the unemployed and impoverished, for the Lord is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We pray for all who mourn, trusting that God will wipe away their tears and fill their hearts with the promise of life eternal for the Lord is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We pray for all who have died trusting that the dead shall live, for the Lord is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Lord of life, we thank you for the mystery of life sprung from death and hope risen from despair. Bless us with the grace and will to care for the earth and for each other, and with the faith of Mary Magdalene to hear your voice whenever you call. Amen.

Summing up all our petitions and all our thanksgivings, we pray in the words Jesus taught us

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 and ever. Amen.

May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep our minds and hearts in the love of God and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

Hymn: He is risen

Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Officiants: The Reverend Hope H. Eakins and the Reverend William J. Eakins
Altar Guild: Directress: Jane Kline, Jill Ingram. Usher: Douglas Kline

Expected time of next service: Sunday, April 28, at 5:30 pm

Posted by HopeEakins 01:20 Archived in Namibia

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We had Palm Sunday in Philadelphia at an inner city Presbyterian ,law meetings, Beautiful interior but sad small congregation full of spirit, Easter we were in Austin Texas With our family , Seder one night then Catholic huge church service one of four at a catholic compound School elementary middle and high schools . Home now Granddaughter sang in our church and I taught Sunday school this morning All is well Still cold and rainy here flowers bloom through the rain Thank youjnGod for the color of the flowers shining Love to you both

by Chloe Horton

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