Weekly Online Service
The Easter period is mainly broken up into three days, all with significance for Christians. First there is:
Good Friday. This is the day of shock, grieving and bewilderment. Jesus, God’s Son, has been taken away, tried and hung on a cross where He dies. It is the day of death. Our world, nation, community and church are facing the day of death. Coronavirus had brought shock, grieving and bewilderment, and sadly for so many it has brought death. It is still ongoing, and this day might last for a long time yet. As Christians we believe that Jesus’ death was the punishment for our sins. He dies so that if we believe and trust in Him, we might have eternal life through His death. But the Easter story does not end on Friday.
Easter Saturday. This is a day of realisation. Jesus had told his
disciples that He would die. They did not take it in. This could never happen
to Him. Now they were in limbo. What would happen next? Would they be rounded
up and put to death? The Saturday of this present epidemic is the time when we
realise that what the health experts and politicians were telling us is correct.
We did not fully believe them or understand them, but it happened. What will
happen next? We might have so far escaped the worst, but it’s not over.
Easter Sunday. There still seems to be no change. Jesus is dead and they must prepare his body for final burial. The women go to the tomb in sorrow and shock. But unknown to them everything has changed. He is no longer in the tomb. The very heavy, guarded stone at the entrance on the tomb has been rolled away.
It took a while for the disciples and friends of Jesus to realise He had risen from the dead. He appeared to many of them as proof. Resurrection had taken place.
This is the day we are waiting for now. Yes, there will be the final resurrection day when Jesus will return, but in the meantime, there are many resurrection days; when this disease is conquered, when our troubles in life are relieved, when worries over our families are eased. Life is full of resurrection because God has promised that problems, pain, disease and death will end. These things are only for a season. They come to challenge us, to strengthen our faith, to increase our commitment. But they will pass.
The message of Easter for us is that life comes out of death, good comes out of evil, hope comes out of depression. Jesus is with us and will lead us through.
Hallelujah Jesus is alive! Revd. Tim Burt. (Moderator)
Prayers for you to pray this Easter
Praise. Father God we thank you that you love us, and you always have our best interests in your heart and mind. We thank you for families, friends, carers and for food and shelter. We thank you that Easter reminds us that you sent your only Son to die for us and to provide a way for us through trusting in Him to receive eternal life. We thank you we have freedom from oppression to worship you, and although we cannot gather with others for that worship, that we can be joined in worship with them through the presence of your Holy Spirit in all of us.
We thank you for all the workers in our health service, the police and others who care for us. Protect them and their families we pray.
Confession. We ask Father God that you will forgive us for our lack of faith, for our doubts and fears and for the way we so often let you down. ‘Forgive our trespasses we pray’.
For Others. We pray for our families and friends that you will keep them safe and well. We pray for our neighbours that they may know your love and that we are there to help them with prayers and assistance. We pray for our country at this time of crisis, that our leaders may make the right decisions at the right time.
Finally, we pray for ourselves that we may know your love, comfort guidance and above all your salvation, though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.