It is early on the first day of the week, oh God
And it is dark.
We arrive at the tomb
Of all our hopes and dreams.
Our lives have not unfolded as we expected.
You have not spared us from the hard end.
We stand alone, grieving.
We lift up our eyes
And see the unexpected.
The stone is rolled away.
We feel a rush of anxiety and a flutter of hope.
Where have you gone?
We are here, God,
Ready and open to meet you anew.
We want to hear you call our names.
We sense that joy comes in this morning.
Behold! You are near!
We turn to each other and say,
“I have seen the Lord!”
We stand together, in celebration.
Belonging, beloved, being.
In the name of the God of abiding love,
The risen Christ Jesus,
And the Spirit of hope.
We invite you to hear from the gospel of John 20:
1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb.
8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed, 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept,
she bent over to look into the tomb
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not touch me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
The Good News of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Homily and Reflection
What part of your human experience do you need to know God, in Jesus, experiences alongside you?
How is what you are willing to see impacting how you live?
What does bearing witness to belonging look like for you this week?
Let us close with a benediction.
May you take the rush of hope this day offers
And enter into the same life with new eyes.
May you find new morning mercies,
An openness that is born of resilience and wisdom.
As we receive the invitation of belonging
Which God offers each of us,
May we lean into community
In order to take the next step.
This is a day of hope.
The flutter we feel at the empty tomb
Grows into a majestic, flapping Spirit
Until we too come alive again.
May we live this week
As people of hope.
In the name of God who invites us
Jesus who meets us
And the Spirit who lives in us.
[ Photo by Kai Brune ]