April 4, 2020 Worship (Easter Sunday) – Rev Sunny Kim
Call to Worship
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! This day calls us to be people of the resurrection! Let us take our part in the procession of all who have celebrated Christ’s resurrection through the centuries. Let us live out the power of Christ raised from the dead. Christ is risen! Amen.
God of renewed presence, on this Easter day, we know that with you all things are possible. May the Good News of Easter joy fill our lives and make our hearts glad. Amen.
Scripture Reading: Mark 16:1-8
The Resurrection of Jesus
16 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Waiting in Hope: the Message of Easter
Going through this pandemic that has lasted over a year and still going, I feel like I can relate better to the disciples of Jesus; they lived through the night of his arrest and not only the day of his resurrection but after 40 days of his resurrection when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples and the Christian Church was born. But spoiler alert; that story is for Pentecost.
We are frustrated at not being able to meet every Sunday. We miss each other’s company. I miss spending Sunday mornings with you in worship. But as in Advent, Lent and Easter are about waiting patiently, and the hope for which we wait. Not only the first disciples of Jesus but all people of Israel back then were patiently and impatiently waiting for their saviour. The foreign occupation and oppression lasted 500 years, as I have mentioned before. We might think this year-old pandemic is long and tiresome, but their darkness lasted 500 years. It puts us into perspective, doesn’t it? Jesus staying in a dark tomb for 3 days feels like a metaphor for what his people went through, and what we are going through right now.
Waiting in hope requires active spiritual alertness. Spiritual waiting is not passive. During the waiting period, we walk with God in active prayers and meditation. Jesus’ people who patiently waited while praying earnestly met and recognized God’s Chosen One. The followers of Jesus who had scattered out of fear when he was arrested but came back afterwards witnessed the resurrected Christ. Those who lived in communion with each other while waiting and praying received the Holy Spirit and continued the ministry of God’s kingdom that Jesus had started.
Going through this pandemic is like what the first disciples experienced. A lot of the time, we are confined at home for our and everyone else’s safety; Jesus’ disciples stayed behind locked doors out of fear after he was killed. The resurrected Jesus came to them through the locked doors (another spoiler alert). Since we should also wait this dark period out, let us hear the Easter message of waiting in hope while doing the right thing without seeking a shortcut that keeps prolonging the pandemic. Let us be patient and wait in hope. Jesus will meet us behind our closed doors. Let us never stop living as God’s people and doing the right things as God’s people. If we have to be physically separated from each other for a period of time, let us patiently wait while praying with and for each other. Let us continue serving God’s people in our community even in social isolation because that’s what God’s people should do. Even in our frustration, let us not only think of ourselves and our problems but remember the marginalized and vulnerable whose suffering became worse due to the pandemic. Let us keep praying and serving.
Let us not be discouraged but focus on hope and the light of Christ instead. Let us wait patiently while never stopping to be God’s people. Receive the hope that Easter offers, and with it, the strength and courage to do the right things. Christ is risen! We will too. Thanks be to God. Amen.
God of resurrection, we cry out to you from a spent world where we know the Good Friday of innocent suffering and death, of night smothering light, of dreams dissolved. We stumble amongst the tombs in our lives and long to find them empty.
God of resurrection, we long to sense your presence, and feel the pulse of your power. Bing Easter to our hearts, and to our lives. For now is Christ arisen, planting life and love in the weary soul of our lives, bringing day to the withering soul, restoring hope to the lost. Amen.
Blessing and Sending Forth
God of Easter, send us forth to live the power of resurrection, that we and all creation might be one with the living Christ; to whom with you and the Spirit, one holy God, be honour and praise, now and forever.