Worship will be led by Pastor Mariah from her home on Easter Sunday morning. Watch it on the church’s Facebook page.
Preparing the Space
Call to Worship:
Here we gather in the morning; night has turned into day.
The weeping that lasts and lasts has turned into joy.
Our mourning turns into dancing. Death turns into life.
Hear the good news: Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Oh Hallelujah!
Song: Halleluja (traditional Caribbean)
Halle, Halle Halle-lu-u-ja
Halle Halle Halle-lu-u-ja
Halle Halle Halle-lu-u-ja
Introduction to the Scripture: You and I know these women. They were at the cross when Jesus was crucified. When the other disciples went home, it could be that some of these women went with Joseph of Arimathea to petition Pilate for the body of Jesus. Even though it was late and they were weary, the women went and saw the tomb where Jesus was laid. Then after the sabbath, they went and bought spices so they could do what needed to be done. You and I know these disciples. We might be these disciples. We know what it is to get up after the worst day in the world and do the work that needs to get done.
As you read the scripture, imagine how the women felt when they showed up to the tomb and found that their best laid plans were shattered to pieces. Have you ever had your own good plans fall apart?
Scripture Reading: Mark 16:1-8 “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.” (Mark 16:6a)
Reflection: Most scholars agree that the original Gospel of Mark ends with 16:8 “… [the women] said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”
It’s no wonder that the Bible editors came along and added more substantial endings to the story! What about the resurrection? Where is the joy? Why end on a cliffhanger?
But what if there is hidden blessing in the Gospel ending on a note of grief… It could give us room to fall apart in terror and amazement, to feel our own grief fill our being, to sit down beside somebody else’s sorrow.
The strangest thing happens when you sit down beside sorrow. It puts you in exactly the right spot to behold the turning. The weeping is real, and it lasts longer than we’d like, but it looks like the end, and it’s not the end. Weeping is what turns into joy. The terrified silence is real, and it looks like the end, and it’s not the end. This silence is what turns into the Hallelujah.
Prayer – O Holy Spirit, You were there. You were there when we crucified our LORD. You were there when darkness covered the land, and the curtain in the temple was torn in grief, and the angels crashed heaven into earth. And life came back to the dead. And the grieving came back to life. You were there. You are here. Come and hear the silent prayers rising up from every heart at every table.
God, you find us in the silence, and you hear our prayer. You look at the world and see how it is broken, and this is the world you come into! Come, turn our sorrow into compassion. Turn our mourning into dancing. See we are coming back to life. Amen.
Invitation to an Activity: Remember a time when you have experienced the turning from sorrow to joy in your own heart. Imagine how it feels to hear your own Hallelujah come back to your soul. On a small slip of paper, write the word “Hallelujah” (or “Alleluia”). Decorate the slip until it brings a smile to your face. Next, go and hide your Hallelujah note somewhere in your home. May you come upon it at exactly the moment when you need it most.
Song: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
by Charles Wesley From The New Century Hymnal, Copyright 1995 The Pilgrim Press
Permission is granted for this one-time use.
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Mortal tongues and angels say: Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, glad heavens, and earth reply: Alleluia!