Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Day messages

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Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday gets its name from the Latin mandatum, which means commandment. Maundy Thursday is the time we celebrate Jesus giving people the new commandment that we love one another as he has loved us.

On the night before he died, Jesus presided at a meal shared with his friends which has become for Christians the first Eucharist. Henri Nouwen has written

The Lord is at the centre of all things and yet in such a quiet, unobtrusive way. He lives with us, even physically, but not in the same physical way that other elements are present to us. The transcendent physical presence is what characterizes the Eucharist. It is already the other world present in this one. In the celebration of the Eucharist we are given an enclave in our world of space and time. God in Christ is really here and yet his physical presence is not characterized by the same limitations of space and time that we know.

This Holy Thursday we are physically separated, and yet we are still united, united in love and concern for one another and united in Christ. We may not share the bread and wine together this evening, but we can spend some time thinking even more deeply about the events of that first Thursday before the events of Friday.

So let us spend some time with these thoughts and prayers.

Most merciful God,

as once more we journey through

Holy Week and Easter,

lead us by your spirit to deeper

insights of your saving grace;

that we may love you more

and serve you better.

With Jesus we pray.


“Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”  Luke 23:34

Before you die, Jesus Christ

And the world goes into deep darkness,

Take from our lives, our souls, our consciences

      All that has offended you,

      All that has hurt others,

      And all the intransigence which has made us numb

      to the plight of those whom we could help or heal.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Grant us your peace.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”    Luke 23:42

Remember us,

Not for our impressive accomplishments,

Nor the things which we hope will appear in our obituaries.

Remember us,

Not for the virtues we occasionally display

or for any credit we think we have in our moral account.

Remember us as one of the criminal community who hung at your side,

Pause and meditate.

“Woman, here is your son”          John 19:26

For our families

Where they are tense, troubled, fragmented,

seething with suspicion,

that they may find a way through pain, not a path away from it.

For our churches,

Where they have become introverted,

Suspicious of the stranger,

Obsessed with dead rather than living stones,

Suffocated by tradition,

That they may be redeemed from the pawnshop of past glory

And renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pause and meditate.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?       Matthew 27:46

Lord Jesus,

By your cry of desperate honesty,

Rid us of superficial faith,

Which is afraid of the dark….

Not so that we might be justified pessimists,

But so that we might discover profound joy.

Give us, when we need it

      The courage to doubt,

      To rage,

      To question,

      To rail against heaven

Until we know we are heard.

We do not ask for easy answers to hard times;

There are many who can offer these.

We ask for a sense of solidarity

that will be enough to let us know

that we do not walk or cry alone;

that will enable us to go through the dark

        and find light again in the morning.

Pause and meditate.

“I am thirsty”.         John 19:28

You have made us for yourself. We know it even if we cannot name it.

We sense the disappointment in dashed hopes that deserved

to be fulfilled.

In missed opportunities which should have led to joy, not frustration,

In people whose potential has been buried or denied and deserves to flourish

So much of life demands a resolution.

Pause and meditate.

“It is finished”.        John 19:30

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”         Luke 23:46 

Pause and meditate.

A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

Good Friday

This Good Friday is different to any that we have experienced in our lifetime. We can still set aside time in this day to mourn with Jesus, grieve with his mother and his friends, suffer the sadness of that very dreadful day.

This service that Penny, Fay and I have put together can be used at stages, on and off during the day, or all in one sitting, or during the day tomorrow as we wait for Easter. Normally, we would be at church from midday until three pm, but in fact it is midday until three pm somewhere in the world for many hours.

You may have a cross at home, perhaps a tiny one that you wear around your neck, perhaps a picture of one or even place two sticks, or two spoons across one another to remind you of the cross.

We gather in spirit around and beside these crosses

That call us more deeply into the costly journey towards life.

There is wounding

And weeping

In Jesus

God is not separated from that.

Christ whose piercing gaze sees all that I have been,

all that I am and all that I can be;

forgive me for those I have wronged,

for the time I have wasted,

for the living I have squandered.

Show me how to turn my life around

So that I can face you and others more truly

And enter into that freedom for which I am made.

If you know the hymn ‘O Sacred Head, surrounded’ sing it quietly or otherwise meditate on the words of this hymn.

O Sacred head, surrounded

    By crown of piercing thorn!

O bleeding heart so wounded,

   So shamed and put to scorn!

Death’s pallid hue comes o’er thee,

   The glow of life decays;

Yet angel hosts adore thee,

   And tremble as they gaze.

Thy comeliness and vigour,

   Is withered up and gone,

And in thy wasted figure

   I see death drawing on.

O agony and dying!

   O love to sinners free!

Jesu, all grace supplying,

   Turn thou thy face on me.

In this thy bitter Passion,

   Good Shepherd think of me

With thy most sweet compassion,

   Unworthy though I be:

Beneath thy Cross abiding

   For ever would I rest,

In thy dear love confiding,

   And with thy presence blest.

A reading from Luke 23:13 – 42

13 Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”[d]

18 Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” 19 (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” 23 But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28 But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus[e] there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [[34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”]][f] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35 And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah[g] of God, his chosen one!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him,[h] “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding[i] him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah?[j] Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into[k] your kingdom.” 43 He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Simon of Cyrene Reflection: Carry the cross

Carry this cross

Why me?

Why pick on me to carry this cross?

I suppose I look strong; I’m used to working out in the fields

but even for a strong man, this cross is rough and heavy.

I’ll have a sore back in the morning.

A picture containing outdoor, grass, building, sitting

Description automatically generatedNothing like as bad as his though – stumbling along in front of me,

his fine white robe is striped with red from the bleeding wounds.

He doesn’t look like a criminal or a troublemaker,

but then, you don’t need to be, you only need to upset the Romans.

That’s why I didn’t argue when they said ‘Carry this cross.’

We’re nearly there. I can see a mound with two crosses on it.

He’s fallen! I almost trip over him.

The soldiers haul him to his feet, drag him to the mound.

He stands, head bowed,

Text Box: This photograph was taken at St Mary’s church, Motuti.blood and sweat dripping from a thorny crown.

As they drag the cross from my back, he lifts his head.

‘Thank you,’ he says;

his eyes, looking into mine, reflect anguish and pain

that is somehow more than his own,

as though he is suffering the pain

of all the people in the world,

including mine, and I know

that I am willing to carry this cross

not just today, but for the rest of my life.

Carry my own cross

I was not there.

I can only imagine,
or see simulated by modern technology,

something of the horror and suffering

of the cross.

Yet you say I must carry my own cross.
What does that mean for me?
Am I prepared to follow you at any cost?
To love you more than anyone else –

especially myself?
If I am to try, then I need help.

Even as Simon was there for Jesus,

so the Holy Spirit is there for me.

I claim that help and power today.

In the name of Jesus,


Let us pray:

God in Christ

You travel with us in faith towards the hard places in our souls.

You know the agony of pain, guilt and hurt deep within us.

You know our frightened faces often hidden from ourselves.

You know the violence sometimes hurled in anger because we feel powerless to take the smallest step to freedom.

You know the grief sometimes lying there held by our decision to remain victims forever.

There are stumbling blocks within ourselves in our travelling, O God.

Think of any situations, relationships, deep hurts that may be stumbling blocks to our way forward and imagine leaving them at the cross.

We leave these hard and difficult things here as we continue on our way through to life.

Quietly sing or simply read the words of the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”.

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Silent meditation.

Jesus said ‘Father into your hands I commend my spirit’.

We believe that when there was nothing but an ocean of tears god sighed over the waters

                    And dreamed a small dream:

Light in the darkness, a small planet in space

We believe that when hate and fear were raging, when love was beaten down and hope was nailed and left to die:

            Christ entered into our deep secret places and went down into our death to find us.

We believe in the Holy spirit who weeps with us in our despair, breathes on our prison doors:

           Never admitting it’s hopeless,

           Always expecting the bars to bend and sway

          And break forth into blossom.

Stay in peace as we wait for Easter joy.

Quietly sing the Taize Chant if you know it (if not try to find it on youtube or simply read the words.

 Stay with me,
Remain here with me
Watch and pray,
Watch and pray

Stay with me,
Remain here with me
Watch and pray,
Watch and pray

Stay with me,
Remain here with me
Watch and pray,
Watch and pray.

Holy Saturday

How desolate must Jesus’ family and his closest friends have felt on that Saturday. We know the final outcome, but for them it must have felt like the end of everything.

Absent yet present God

in the well of our sorrows, teach us how to sing the blues,

in the terrors of desolation, give us a voice to sing the blues,

in the anguish of isolation, enable us to keep on singing the blues,

in the starkness of all suffering, give us an ear to hear your blues,

and, in the midst, to catch a glimpse of the presence of the Singer .

Nicola Slee.

A meditation on the events of Good Friday.

A meditation through the eyes and thoughts of a bystander

‘It is finished’ (A bystander)

‘It is finished!’
That’s what he said.
It might be finished, but it’s not over, not by a long way!
The priests and leaders of the temple might be breathing a sigh of relief,
thinking they’ve finally rid themselves of the man who has plagued them forever,
with his challenges, his so called ‘do-gooding’,
his refusal to ever give them a straight answer to any question they’ve ever asked him.

After months of planning and scheming, they’ve at last seen the back him, or so they think!
They’ve spent weeks trying to trip him into saying something they could hold against him,
taken every opportunity to push him off a cliff,
but got nowhere.
Then finally, they managed to find someone willing to double-cross him.
It’s amazing how so-called friends find betrayal easy for a few pieces of silver!

I heard he was full of remorse once he realised what would happen,
took the money back, I’m told,
of course, it was too late by then.
I heard he took his own life,
couldn’t live with guilt I suppose!
But then, could any of us?

After that there was no stopping it,
Caiaphas, the High Priest, the Council, Pilate, Herod, they were all involved.
But in the end, it was the people who decided.
Pilate gave them a choice: ‘Jesus or Barabbas?’
Who should he set free?’
‘Barabbas!’ the crowd shouted.
‘What then should be done with Jesus?’ Pilate asked.
‘Crucify! Crucify him!’

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,
surely these were the same people who had welcomed him into Jerusalem just a few days ago?
They were incited by those in the crowd who had no intention that Jesus should be freed, of course,
and Pilate had no alternative but to do as they wished.

God! You should have seen the state of him,
beaten and bruised, his back red-raw from the lashes,
blood pouring from his head, a make-shift crown made of branches, the sharp thorns piercing his forehead.
And a blood soaked piece of clothing, that only just about made him decent.

They tried to make him carry his own cross, but the torture had made him too weak,
so they grabbed someone from the crowd and made him carry it instead.
They took him to Golgotha, just outside the city,
there they crucified him, hammering the nails
through his hands and feet into the rough wood.
I didn’t want to watch,
couldn’t bear to watch,
but somehow, I couldn’t help myself.

Every now and again he said something,
I wasn’t near enough to hear the words,
and once or twice, he was offered a drink from a sponge on a stick.
Gradually, it got darker and darker and even though it was the middle of the afternoon,
it became almost as dark as night, and I moved a little nearer.

We all just stood there watching, those of us who had the bottle to stay.
Maybe we were expecting something miraculous to happen,
for him to save himself perhaps.
Then we heard the words,
‘It is finished!’
and he was dead.

It was done,
the agony, the torture,
the awful, awful death.
But like I said,
it might be finished,
but it’s not over!

From John’s gospel we read

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it

And Genesis tells us.

And God saw that it was good’.

As we watch and wait for the rebirth and renewal of tomorrow, let us think of the words of this lovely hymn.

1 Two companions journeyed homeward
from a tense Jerusalem,
haunted by the execution
of the one so dear to them.
They were grieving, unaware
that their Lord had joined them there.

2 As they walked, he showed from Scripture
the unfolding tale of grace:
how for Christ the path to glory
led through suffering in our place.
Soon the listeners’ faint desire
was aroused and set on fire.

3 At Emmaus he was welcomed
and a meal was quickly spread;
then they recognised and marvelled
as he blessed and broke the bread:
Christ, who blessed the loaves before,
now alive for evermore!

4 Like those travellers, we have struggled
under pressures of the day:
may we hear your voice, Lord Jesus,
when we stumble on our way;
through the mists of pain and fear
trusting still that you are near.

5 King of Love, until we see you
with the nail-prints in your hands,
in our gathering and our going
may we know your promise stands.
Strong protector, faithful friend,
be our guide to journey’s end!

Easter Day

Easter Day

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Easter day is a time to rejoice, to give thanks, to renew our baptismal vows.

Throughout the last few weeks of Lent and Holy week, we have been joining in heart, mind and spirit as we remained apart during this very different year. So it is that this celebration is in the same vein.

On that first Easter morning, the disciples were huddled up and disconsolate, Mary and some other women were going dejected and heartbroken to minister to their Lord and a surprise greater than any other stopped them all in their tracks.  The joy, courage, wonder, trust and strength received on that day has remained with countless people over more than two thousand years reaching down to us today.

So come let us worship and rejoice!

Let us sing or read the words of the hymn : Alleluia, Alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Jesus is Lord of all the earth.
He is the King of creation.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Spread the good news o’er all the earth:
Jesus has died and has risen.
Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

We have been crucified with Christ.
Now we shall live for ever.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

God has proclaimed his gracious gift:
Life eternal for all who believe.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Come, let us praise the living God,
Joyfully sing to our Saviour.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

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.

O give thanks to our God who is so good,

Whose love endures forever!

With the confidence born of Easter day, let us approach the throne of God’s grace.

Let us pray

Why have we sometimes looked for Jesus among the dead?

Because the arrogant still flaunt their power

   and humble people are downtrodden;

because the rich can pervert the course of justice

   while the poor must settle for many injustices,

and because we become weary

   and are tempted to give up.

  Why do we sometimes look for Jesus among the dead?

Because death appears to be so permanent

   and our faith feels so weak and fitful;

Because greed and despair seem so powerful

   and our love and hope feel so fragile,

 and because we become weary

   and are tempted to give up.

And, why in spite of this dark side do we still look for a living Christ?

Because in some mysterious but sure way

   his mercy finds us in our wanderings,

   his grace has forgiven our many sins,

his Spirit wipes away our weariness

and something of his love again flows through us to others.

Christ is risen and we are forgiven.


Easter Jesus, you are wonderful!

Nothing can ever wipe out your love!

Today we want to skip and dance,

            twist and twirl, 

            sing and sound trumpets,

to celebrate with you

            your victory over all the badness

            that killed you and put you in a tomb.

Easter Jesus,

today we also want to say thank you

for preparing a heavenly home

for all those who love you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


A reading from the book of Acts, Chapter 10: 34 – 43

34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 

36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 

40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 

43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

The Gospel according to John, Chapter 20 :1 – 18

20 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. 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.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look[a] into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 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,[b] “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to 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.

Fay Pankhurst attended an Easter service in Westminster Abbey and she has shared the sermon from that day with us.

Easter Sunday, Westminster Abbey 2006

In Alice through the Looking Glass, Alice meets the Red Queen:

Canon Rev Dr. Nicholas Sagovsky

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again:  draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

I guess that’s how a lot of people see Christians. We are people who practise believing impossible things, and one of the most impossible is that on the third day after Jesus had been brutally executed, he rose from the dead.

The New Testament doesn’t give us a series of arguments to persuade us this is what happened. It gives us stories. It tells us how the disciples discovered the empty tomb and how on several occasions, both individually and in groups, they met the risen Jesus. It tells us about the complete change in the disciples when they lost their fear and began to share with anyone who would listen the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The best evidence that something quite remarkable had happened is probably the birth of the church itself, and the new life that Christians began to live. What was it that kick-started the early Christian movement so that it spread like wildfire through the major cities of the ancient world, from Jerusalem to Rome? Something put new heart into the followers of Jesus, after his death on a cross had left them scattered and defeated.

What that something was, the Christians described in the best way they could. They wanted people to know that Jesus had really and publicly died on a cross. People in Jerusalem had seen him die, and when his body was laid in the tomb they could see that he really was dead. They also knew that the tomb was sealed with a great stone. But, two days later, his disciples began to speak about what they had experienced in a completely new way.

Some told how they had gone to the tomb and found it open; others spoke of ‘appearances’ in which they had met Jesus cf. 1 Cor 15:5-8. The passage in John 20:1-18 talks about both: Peter and John found the tomb empty and Mary Magdalene met him in the garden.

It is not just in our time that people have rejected this as impossible. Think only of Thomas, one of the disciples. Of course there is no virtue in believing impossible things for the sake of it – Alice knew that even if the Red Queen didn’t. But the earliest Christians, like Christians all down the years, found it impossible to say that Jesus was dead. Their testimony was, as the whole New Testament shows us, that he was alive and with them in all that they did. They knew that Jesus being alive was something God had done, an act of new creation as powerful and wonderful as the creation of life itself.

By this act of God, the death of Jesus could be seen in a new light, not as a crushing and final defeat for him and for his followers, but as the necessary prelude to the coming of new life. And by this act of God the Church as the living body of Christ – to which we too belong – was brought into being. Just as in the early days, so today, to be a member of the Church is to share in the new life that came into the world on the third day after the crucifixion.

What the Red Queen tells Alice to do is to believe in impossible things. Of course, that won’t work, but Christians have found that the resurrection of Jesus changes our ideas about what is possible. If Christ is risen it is possible that death is not the end but the beginning of life; if Christ is risen it is possible that the wrong and the harm we have done to ourselves and other people can and will be forgiven; if Christ is risen it is possible that good is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate, and life is stronger than death. On Easter Day, we meet to share bread and wine in thanksgiving for the death of Jesus, not because we believe these things are possible but because we believe they are true. We are here because Jesus is a living Lord. This is why, on this day above all days, we greet each other with the joyful words, ‘Christ is risen!’

Silent Meditation

The final words of that sermon are particularly poignant since we are NOT together and we can NOT share the bread and wine right now. But as we have done so well these past three weeks, we can know that we ARE together in Spirit and we shall meet together again and share the bread and wine. Jesus IS the bread of life and he is with us “lo, I am with you always”. With God all things are possible.

A Song of Love and Gratitude

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus… 

Pray for the world, the church, family and friends and ourselves.

For those who are alone …

For those who are afraid …

For those who have lost loved ones …..

For those working to save life and lives …

For those who are weary ….

For those who have lost a means of supporting themselves and loved ones….

We ask for courageous hearts and your peace within the storm.

Be with us Lord, as we continue in this very different Easter journey,

Guide us with the light of Easter faith,

That we may walk in your ways.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, who has risen from the dead.

Alleluia. Amen.

Since ever I can remember, we ended the Easter Day service with “Thine Be the Glory”.  Whether with family or alone sing it out with gusto.

1 Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won.
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where Thy body lay.

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won.

2 Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb.
Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let His church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for the Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting. [Refrain]

3 No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life!!
Life is nought without Thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through Thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above. [Refrain]