The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, April 12, 2020 — Easter Day
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)
Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18
Resurrection—new life! This is the heart of the Christian message and what we are called to witness to at all times. On this glorious feast day, we celebrate God’s steadfast love, God conquering fear and death, and the fact that this message is for everyone. With Paul and Peter, this day is a chance to affirm the basis of our beliefs. We need also to recover that sense of grief and despair that brings Mary to the garden in order to fully understand and participate in the astonishment and joy at finding her beloved, risen from the dead. This possibility of encountering the Risen Christ is there for all of us to experience. It is this active, risen presence that needs to come through our liturgies for today.
Our world was lost to sin for many years. People were broken and empty. But throughout scripture a promise was made of a Savior that would conquer sin and bring salvation. That promise was fulfilled through Jesus Christ. God sacrificed His son so that we may have freedom from sin. Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb for three days. But rose to life on that third day. We know this turning point in history as Easter. Salvation through Jesus Christ is not possible without the resurrection.
(adapted from John 20)
O God, bless us this morning with resurrection rampage—a rampage that summons us to shout yes to the birth of new creation in our midst. May we experience the birthquakes of new life in our lives and in our congregation. The Son is up! And we are up with the Son, despite all those things that seek to pull us down to despair. We are your Easter people. Amen.
(from the Book of Common Prayers)
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
We have to admit it, Lord, that we had our doubts. We have heard the Resurrection story and for so many years it has remained just a nice story. But this time it is different. This time we have walked the path with Christ. We have journeyed through the wilderness and valleys, to the mountaintops to the courtyard, the garden and the cross. Now you bring us to the empty tomb and to the joyous news of the truth of Christ. Forgive us when we so easily doubt the truth of his resurrection. Forgive us when we feel we have to have absolute proof of everything. Your love in Jesus Christ is all the proof we need. You conquered death and sin, you brought us to new life. We praise your holy name and sing our unending song of hope and thanksgiving.
Christ the Lord is risen today. Alleluia. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Come into the light of God’s love! Christ is risen! Death has been swallowed up in victory! Know beyond all doubt that God’s love is always with you, surrounding you, leading you, comforting you. Be at peace. Amen.
Prayer of the Day
O God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, and by his glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
God raised Jesus on the third day
10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us 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 whom God appointed 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.”
On this day God has acted
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
2 Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”
…14 The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16 The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
Raised with Christ
3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Alleluia. Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us keep the Festival. Alleluia.
The passion and death of Jesus
20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Here end the Readings
Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message
- I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
- I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
- I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen
(adapted from John 20)
We have come from darkness and despair to hope and joy. We have been transformed by new life. Go forth to witness and to testify to the message of hope we have received this day.
Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Easter Is HereChrist the Lord is risen today. Alleluia. Amen.
Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Daily Lectionary for SUNDAY, April 12, 2020 — Easter Day
Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18