CENTENARY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

EASTER SUNDAY SERVICE

April 12, 2020

The Congregation at Worship
Gathering the Community of Faith

MINISTRY OF LIGHT
Lighting candles symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus as Light of the World

* CALL TO WORSHIP

Do not be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.
He is not here, for he has risen, just as he said he would.
Now go quickly and tell his followers that he has risen from the dead
Come and look at the empty place where his body lay.
Christ has risen!
He has risen indeed!
and is going on ahead of you where you will meet him.
Christ has risen!
He has risen indeed!
O give thanks to our God who is so good,
Whose love endures forever!

* HYMN OF PRAISE   “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”  No. 302
  Hymn is available by clicking here

SCRIPTURE READING Acts 10: 34-43
    Scripture is available by clicking here

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

Gracious Redeemer, we come to you in the morning of the resurrection. We expect to find you among the tombs and grave clothes of our world, but you are alive. Sin cannot hold you; death cannot bind you; and, just as we have been weeping and mourning that you have been taken from us, you meet us in the garden of the new life and send us running to share the good news of the gospel to the very ends of the earth. You are risen, indeed. We have seen you and so we believe that joy comes from grief. Accept our worship, gracious God. Be present with us as daystar, miracle, and mystery, and as the tender hands of grace. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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.

LITANY

Leader: Easter begins in despair. Our life, our love, our hope forever dead, crushed by a boulder, bottled up in a cave.
People: Who will roll away the stone?
Leader: Easter takes us by surprise, early in the morning. The obstacles we expect to face are removed. Where once death and despair laid locked in time, now the bright light of hope sprouts wings to fly from emptiness. It is, at first, too good to be true.
People: Where have you laid him?
Leader: When faced with a miracle, our first reflex is to run.
People: Be not afraid. Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He is risen; he is not here: see the place where they laid him. But go your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee. There you shall see him.
Leader: Suddenly the realization dawns. It may rise as quietly as the sun creeping over the horizon, or it may explode like fireworks, painting the world with dazzle. We recognize the One who was dead as he comes to life in us.
People: Christ is risen, risen indeed!
All: Alleluia!

Leader: And all who encounter the Risen One whether gently roused by the sunrise or suddenly surprised by a burst of joy will join the Resurrection Procession one by one, slipping into step, some of us singing, some of us silently soaking it in, and all of us feeling like dancing.
All: Alleluia! Christ is risen, risen indeed!

CHILDREN’S MOMENTS

Originally the Easter egg was a symbol of resurrection. As a chick broke forth from the egg shell, so Jesus came forth from a broken tomb. If you dye eggs or have them scrambled for breakfast, remember the significance of the egg and shout, “Alleluia! Jesus lives!”

WORSHIP WITH TITHES AND OFFERINGS may be mailed to the church with thanks to you and our Lord. As you do so, pray, “All things come of thee of God, and of thine own have we given thee.”

HYMN: “Easter People, Raise Your Voices” No. 304
Hymn is available by clicking here

* GOSPEL LESSON Matthew 28: 1-10
Gospel Lesson is available by clicking here

AN EASTER MESSAGE

I hope this service finds you in good health and spirits. I pray that each of you has phone calls, e-messages, and careful contact enough to keep your spirits up. Warm, greening days are upon us. They give us hope as we move through threatening days. I hope as you read and remember how God stepped into history and raised Jesus from death on the cross that you will also see God and resurrection in our world’s springtime renewal. Likewise, my prayer is that soon we will all set out on a renewed path of health and wellbeing in an openness of doors, personal contacts, relationships, and discipleship in the footsteps of our risen Lord.
Until that day take care and be of good cheer.

CLOSING HYMN: “Crown Him with Many Crowns” No. 327
Hymn is available by clicking here

BENEDICTION

Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed.
Now go quickly and share the news that he has risen from the dead and is going on ahead of you where you here you will meet him in the Galilee of your common, daily lives.
O give thanks to our God who is so good,
Whose love endures forever!
Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead, the great Pastor of the church, make you adept at all times in doing the loving thing, working in you that which is a delight to God. And the blessing of God most wonderful, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, will be with you now and evermore.
Amen!

POSTLUDE