Easter, Year C

Musical Reflection
It is No Secret (What God Can Do) by Willie Nelson

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Invocation

Lord of the dawn,
revealed to women of courage
and men of doubt:
take us from the empty places
where death holds power
to the rising of your love
as light for all the world;
God unlimited
by mortal fear
or tomb’s cold grip:
in the lingering dark
give us grace to know
your life triumphant
your love undimmed
in the face of Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead,
the Resurrection and the Life.
Amen.

First Reading
Spare Parts

by Trish Dugger

We barge out of the womb
with two of them: eyes, ears,

 

arms, hands, legs, feet.
Only one heart.  Not a good

 

plan.  God should know we
need at least a dozen,

 

a baker’s dozen of hearts.
They break like Easter eggs

 

hidden in the grass,
stepped on and smashed.

 

My own heart is patched,
bandaged, taped, barely

 

the same shape it once was
when it beat fast for you.

 

 

Second Reading
Memphis Resurrection
by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Who died and made you Elvis?
—Bumper sticker

The big rock by my door
is a plaster prop, after
all. I’m back to hear
screams for what I can’t
do, couldn’t do forty
years ago. Awkward
pelvic thrusts fooled
the camera and virgins,
but I have no more fish-
fry tunes left to dress
up on brand new plates.
This time around,
I spend all day singing
cracked Mississippi
homilies. Why
did I want to live
forever in the first place?
Salvation felt better dead,
floating home free
while my bones, secret
and brown, mingle
with old dirt.
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Gospel Reading 1
Luke 24:1-12

Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. They didn’t know what to make of this. Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing. The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He isn’t here, but has been raised. Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words. When they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven and all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles.Their words struck the apostles as nonsense, and they didn’t believe the women. But Peter ran to the tomb. When he bent over to look inside, he saw only the linen cloth. Then he returned home, wondering what had happened.

 
Gospel Reading 2
John 20:1-18

Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.” Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in. Following him, Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’s head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. Then the other disciple, the one who arrived at the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. They didn’t yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.

Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Parent. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Parent and your Parent, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.

 

 

Musical Reflection
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed by The Welcome Wagon

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Prayer
by Helen Steiner Rice, adapted

God, give us eyes to see
the beauty of the Spring,
And to behold Your majesty
in every living thing –
And may we see in lacy leaves
and every budding flower
The Hand that rules the universe
with gentleness and power –
And may this Easter grandeur
that Spring lavishly imparts
Awaken faded flowers of faith
lying dormant in our hearts,
And give us ears to hear, dear God,
the Springtime song of birds
With messages more meaningful
than often empty words
Telling harried human beings
who are lost in dark despair –
‘Be like us and do not worry
for we are all in God’s care’.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father/Mother who art in heaven,
Our Creator, you are all around us and within us.
hallowed be thy name.
We praise you with many different names.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
Help us live as we understand we should from knowing you
in harmony and connectedness with each other,
on earth as it is in heaven.
With all creatures of the earth,
and with the earth and the universe itself.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Help us to use your resources wisely
So that we might be sustained.
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Help us take responsibility when we fail to live harmoniously,
And help us understand and forgive when others let us down.
And lead us not into temptation,
Let us know you well enough that we are not tempted
to live outside of your love.
but deliver us from evil,
and empower us to work together to overcome evil.
for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
We believe that you created the world
and that you will be all around us and within us forever.
Amen.
We are open to you.

Musical Reflection
In the Beginning by K’naan


Blessing

The love of the faithful Creator,
The peace of the wounded Healer,
The joy of the challenging Spirit,
The hope of the Three-in-One
surround and encourage us
today, tonight, and forever.

May the blessing of God – the Creator, the Healer,
and the Spirit
,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

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Sources:

Artwork by Leszek Kostuj

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection It is no Secret (What God Can Do) by Willie Nelson

Poem Spare Parts by Trish Dugger

Poem Memphis Resurrection by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Musical Reflection Hail to the Lord’s Anointed by The Welcome Wagon

Prayer by Helen Steiner Rice

Lord’s Prayer by Lyn Seils Robertson

Musical Reflection In the Beginning by K’naan

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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