Event – Easter

On the Road from Emmaus: Cleopas and His Wife

It was just too intense, we had to get away.
So much crying, so much sadness.
Mary Magdalene wailing,
Peter groaning out loud every five minutes
and pounding his fists against his knees.

But worst of all was Jesus’ mother Mary
just sitting motionless,
holding her sides, staring into space,
almost as if she was waiting for something.

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Sermon: Not the End of the Story–An Easter Sermon – Mark 16:1-8

This gospel tells us that the male disciples flee in the garden of Gethsemane, and the same word, flee, is used to describe how the women react when they see the empty tomb. The women are described as trembling. They are afraid. But the good news that this gospel writer is sharing about is not dependent on what people do…the good news is about Jesus Christ. About the kingdom that he is proclaiming. A kingdom that cannot be stopped by anything. Not even by his own followers betraying him. Can you see how this gospel would resonate with a church that was experiencing great persecution, a church that was afraid?

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Sermon: Easter–Are We There Yet? – John 20:1-18

The disciples also knew about resurrection.  They saw Jesus raise a young girl and also Lazarus from the dead. Yet when confronted with death in their lives, in front of their eyes, death in all its brutality, Jesus at Golgotha, they were overwhelmed.  They were defeated.  They knew that death had the last word.  That’s the story they knew by heart…death always has the last word.  So when they see the tomb empty, all they can think is “That’s odd.”  Mary sees the man outside the tomb and thinks, “He must be the gardener.“

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Easter Pandemic Prayer

Jesus died. He was buried.
On the third day he rose.
Thank you, God, for hope
when hope was lost
and for life when death had won.
In these pandemic times
when so many are suffering and dying
resurrect within our world
the faith and hope and love
we need to survive.

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In the Name of Christ Litany

1.          In the name of Christ, First Born of all Creation,
2.          in the name of Jesus, the Second Adam, born of Mary,
3.          in the name of Immanuel, the Nazarene, who lived among us, 
1.          in the name of Christ, the Baptized One, first in obedience,
2.          in the name of Jesus, Wilderness Dweller, tried and tested,
3.          in the name of Immanuel, Word of Love for all people,
1.          in the name of Christ, Healer of our Every Ill,
2.          in the name of Jesus, Welcomer of Children,
3.          in the name of Immanuel, Beloved Teacher,
1.          in the name of Christ, Transfigured Son of God,
2.          in the name of Jesus, Bread of Life for the whole word,

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Believing in Resurrection Congregational Prayer

God of life,
thank you for empty tombs
and Jesus Christ, risen and alive.
Thank you that death does not have the final word, ever.
We pray for all who find it difficult to believe in resurrection
this Easter morning:
victims of natural disasters, or terrorism,
those who are caught in financial hardship, or webs of addiction,
those who are struggling with sickness or are weighed down with depression.
Especially we pray for people on the edge of terrorist attacks,
people who feel that violence is the answer that will bring change,
people with guns and bombs and plans to use them…

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Easter Morning Call to Worship

Early in the morning we come to you, God,
with gratefulness and wonder,
and with awe at your power to save us.
This morning we want to follow the women to the tomb.
We want to hear the surprising words, “He is not here!”
We want to kneel before Christ with joy and thankfulness.
And we want to leave here bursting with good tidings of great joy
which shall be for all people.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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