Tag Archives: resurrection

Easter Sunday Meditation 2017


Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Reading: Luke 24:1-10 (GNB)

Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. (2) They found the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, (3) so they went in; but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (4) They stood there puzzled about this, when suddenly two men in bright shining clothes stood by them. (5) Full of fear, the women bowed down to the ground, as the men said to them, “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? (6) He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: (7) ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.’”

(8) Then the women remembered his words, (9) returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. (10) The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them told these things to the apostles.

Meditation

The Lord is risen.
He is risen indeed!

Death is destroyed.
Victory is complete!

Death and everything that destroys has been defeated. We stand before God stripped of our human frailty, our sinfulness, our physical weaknesses. We are, instead, bathed in his love, clothed in his righteousness, filled with his Spirit.

We are not yet complete. There is still work to be done. The last movement, the final steps will take place in an instant, in God’s time. But the Easter message is that the resurrection is now. The defeat of hurt and failure and death begins today. It takes place on every step of our journey. Every day as we open ourselves to the transforming work of the Spirit.

God invites us, today, to offer him our struggles and our joys, our failures and our successes. They are not what define our journey. Our journey is not defined by our strengths or weaknesses. It is defined by our companion on the road: the risen Saviour. Acknowledge his presence, and ask him to help you journey with him, starting today.

Prayer

Lord, we cannot comprehend the resurrection, it is beyond our human understanding. But we do know that we are in your glorious hands. We journey with you. We acknowledge your victory and we surrender today those things in our lives that hinder your work, that lead to death rather than to life. Thank you for walking with us, and thank you for our destination and the welcome you have prepared for us.

Amen

This meditation was written for the Prestbury Methodist Church Lenten Diary. A collaborative project with various members of the church writing meditations for each day of Lent around a given theme.
See HERE for Easter Saturday and past years’ contributions.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Easter, Lent, Prayers and Meditations

Easter Sunday Meditation 2015


Christ is risen – he is risen indeed.

Reading: John 20:11-18

Mary stood crying outside the tomb. While she was still crying, she bent over and looked in the tomb (12) and saw two angels there dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and the other at the feet.  (13) ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ they asked her. She answered, ‘They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!’

(14) Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus.

(15) ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ Jesus asked her. ‘Who is it that you are looking for?’

She thought he was the gardener, so she said to him, ‘If you took him away, sir, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’

(16) Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned toward him and said in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (This means ‘Teacher.’)

(17) ‘Do not hold on to me,’ Jesus told her, ‘because I have not yet gone back up to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am returning to him who is my Father and their Father, my God and their God.’
(18) So Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and related to them what he had told her. (Good News Bible)

Meditation

‘The day of resurrection, earth, tell it all abroad;

… for Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.’

But wait. Why are you crying?

A lost loved one? A lost opportunity? A failed relationship? Are you afraid of something or someone? Do you feel helpless and alone?

Trevor Hudson reminds us ‘that each person you see … sits next to his or her own pool of tears.’ You are not the only one crying today. You are not alone in your tears.

Mary, too, was crying, and she tried to fix everything, as we do: ‘tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’

But there is so much that cannot be fixed, however many times we go over what we did; however many times we cry, ‘If only ….’

But what if the empty tomb was not a sign of loss but of life? What if our pain could be transformed into healing for others? What if others could find hope because of what we have experienced?

Jesus calls us by name today. And he sends us out to his brothers and sisters – our brothers and sisters, our parents and children, our neighbours, friends and enemies. He asks us to tell them that his Father is their Father, that his God is their God. We are not alone; we belong to the Father and we belong to each other.

We were never meant to keep the tomb filled with our pain and hurt and fears and anger. It was meant to burst open and to fill the world with light and love and hope.

The Lord is risen – he is risen indeed!

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for the hope of this day.

Thank you that our tears and the tears of the world do not have the final say.

Help us to discover, in the place of our hurt and loss and suffering, an opportunity to bring hope and love to the world around us.

Help us, today, to call someone by name, to reach into their tears and give them hope.

This meditation was written for the Prestbury Methodist Church Lenten Diary. A collaborative project, with various members of the church writing meditations for each day of Lent around a given theme. See HERE for Easter Saturday and past years’ contributions. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Easter, Meditation & Prayer, Through the Year

The spirit of Easter: A sermon for Easter 2


Easter 2 – Freedom Day

SCRIPTURE:    Acts 2:14a, 22–32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3–9; John 20:19–31

The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed.

Today is the second Sunday of Easter; the day Jesus appeared again to his disciples in the upper room, and in particular, to Thomas.

Today is, of course, also Freedom Day (South Africa’s 20th ‘birthday’). I think that South Africans in 1994 had a lot in common with those who were around Jesus.

Change
The difficulty that the Jews had with Jesus – whether they were part of the establishment, or Zealots working against the status quo or the disciples themselves – the problem they had didn’t lie with Jesus, but with what they expected from their Messiah: what he should look like, how they expected him act, what he would teach.

That the Messiah would change the status quo was pretty much a given, whatever party you belonged to. But to what extent, and how ruthlessly was up for grabs. Much the same as South Africa in the early 90s. Apartheid had to go. That was a given for everyone, except for a few diehard denialists. But how it was to go and what would take its place was very much under discussion (to put it politely). Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Easter, Worship & Preaching

Prayer of involvement


A bauble on a Christmas tree.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lord, you made the world, and flung the stars into space.
You looked at what you had made and said, “I like it. I really like it.”
But you weren’t content with a bauble for your Christmas tree;
You stepped into time and space,
Engaged with your creation,
Called your people into being.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Meditation & Prayer, Prayers and Meditations

Easter: The act of God that changes everything


Reading. Luke 24:1–6
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!”

Meditation
Why look for the living among the dead? Well, where else to look when all hope is gone? Where else, when cleaning up and dressing the body is all that is left to do?

And you and me? What has our faith become? Are we just dressing the body of Jesus? Is our worship simply a repetition of rituals (new or old), remembering a dead saviour?

The angels dressed like lightning have a message for us. “He is not here; he has risen!” It is the act of God that changes EVERYTHING. Nothing can ever be the same again. Our waking up, our family relationships, our attitude to neighbour, the work we do and, indeed, our worship—everything changes.

If Jesus is alive, he is sitting with you as you read this. If he is alive, he is with you as you greet your spouse, child, friend or neighbour.  He is there when you sit at your desk or pick up the tools of your trade. If Jesus is alive, he shares every meal with us, enters every conversation, and shares in every choice we make. And he asks, “How can love change this relationship, this conversation or this action? How can love change everything?”

“Christ is Risen—He is Risen indeed.”

Prayer
Lord, sometimes the implication of your resurrection makes us afraid. But you do not come to judge; you come to give us life—life infused and strengthened with love. Help us to acknowledge our brokenness today, our own weakness and vulnerability; and, in the power of the risen Christ, help us to choose love today, in every situation and every relationship. 

My Easter Sunday contribution to the Prestbury Methodist Church Lenten Prayer Diary. See note on Easter Saturday: Joseph, the secret follower.

5 Comments

Filed under Easter, Prayers and Meditations

Law & Order: A Prayer of Confession


Most of us have much to say about the corruption and crime that are rampant in our society.  We are quick to point fingers at those in high places who are shown to be guilty; perhaps we point fingers too quickly.  We have allowed criminality to become subjective.  We think that those whose crimes are greater or worse than ours on some subjective scale of criminality are the real criminals.  Just the same, we think that the real threat to life and limb on our nation’s roads does not come from those who drive fast, but those who drive faster than we do or jump the traffic lights that much later.

Some Msunduzi residents were up in arms recently about a squad of traffic police that had started following up on unpaid traffic fines.  Those who were caught parroted the ancient cry: “Why me?  The cops should be targeting the real criminals.”  Unfortunately the subjective scale that is so clear to us, is not quite as obvious to law-enforcement agencies.

How can we hope to root out corruption in high places when each of us sees corruption and crime as something other people do? 

A Prayer

Lord, we are horrified by the corruption all around us;
The sins of the fathers are visited on the poor and vulnerable
in this generation and the next.
But such large crimes allow us to trivialise our own seeming small ones.
We are indignant when traffic police fine us for speeding
while real criminals run free.

Lord, we have allowed innocence and criminality to become relative;
It depends on the circumstances, we like to believe.
But for you, Lord, there is no innocence.
“There is no one who is righteous. No, not one.”

We are self centred and greedy; our love is timid and selective.
We are critical of others and forgiving of ourselves.
We fight for our rights, and ignore the rights of the most vulnerable.

You call us into sacrificial relationships; you ask, “How can I help?”
We build relationships to benefit us and our schemes;
We network for profit, and ask, “What’s in it for me?”

We don’t cause mayhem on our roads,
but we ignore the rules of the road when it suits us,
and we open the door for others to go that much faster,
to jump traffic lights that much later,
until no one knows what is too fast, or too late, until it is just that.

Lord, indeed, with you there is no innocence; we are truly all guilty.
Forgive us for the corruption and crime and poverty
in which we all share, and to which we all contribute.

In you alone are innocence, righteousness
and unconditional love to be found;
You alone have the right to point fingers and become indignant.
But instead, you took up a cross and absorbed the sin and sickness,
the pain and corruption;  you died to put an end to it all.

Only you didn’t, did you? You didn’t put an end to it
because you left us with freedom to choose.
We can journey with you through Lent to the cross;
We can watch you die there with the burden of our sin on your back,
And we can walk away and leave you there,
and try to believe that’s where the story ends.

But just because we don’t believe,
doesn’t mean that Easter never happened.
We can refuse to let the risen Christ touch our lives,
but he is still the Risen Christ, reaching out to us in love.

Lord give us the courage to face the truth of the resurrection;
to allow you to penetrate the cold and the dark within;
to bring warmth and light and freedom; to heal the brokenness,
and challenge us to a new way of living in the world, for the sake of all.

Amen

1 Comment

Filed under Lent, Meditation & Prayer, The News