March 27, 2018: Christ is Risen

March 27, 2018

Rev. Sarah TevisTownes

Bible Study Session #11: Easter Sunday

This week, there are several services, including Maundy Thursday at 6PM on Thursday night, Good Friday at 6PM on Friday night, and Easter at 9AM and 11AM on Sunday morning.

The Maundy Thursday service will be a pot-luck soup and bread dinner that will begin with communion in the sanctuary. You can sign up to bring soup on the Connection Card. Maundy Thursday will commemorate the last supper and include an opportunity to explore the meaning of Holy Week in small groups. Good Friday will be a candlelight service where we will read scripture and reflect on the stories of both Jesus’ life and death. The bells are playing a haunting melody to set the tone for the service—it should be a moving experience!

The Easter sermon will be based on John 20:1-18, the story of the empty tomb, the resurrection, and Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene. There will be worship services at both 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. We will also have an Easter egg hunt for children between services and a brunch for everyone following the 11 a.m. service. Both services will include Easter music, although the 9 a.m.service will be “unplugged”—quieter, more informal, acoustic, and microphone-free. Think of it as a sunrise service you can sleep in to enjoy! Both services may be crowded—if a “good” seat is important to you, please prepare to be here earlier than usual. If you are comfortable walking a bit farther and are okay on uneven ground, we also encourage you to park on the dirt part of our lot next to the road to allow ample parking for people with mobility challenges. I look forward to taking this journey through Holy Week with you!

Bible Study Scripture # 1 : John 20: 1-15

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away.  She ran to the home of Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, sharing the news of what she had seen.

“They have taken the Master,” she said. “And I do not know where they have taken him.”

Peter and the other disciple ran with her back to the tomb.  One at a time, they bent down to look in, and they saw the linen wrappings lying there.  They saw for themselves and therefore believed what Mary had told them, although they did not yet understand that Jesus was risen.

The two men returned to their homes, but Mary stayed, weeping. As she cried, she bent over into the tomb. Inside, she saw two angels, sitting where the body of Jesus had been.

They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

She said, “They have taken away my beloved teacher, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw a man standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

He said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Whom are you looking for?”

Through the veil of her tears, she supposed him to be the gardener. She said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away and care for his body.”

Bible Study Scripture #2: 

Luke 24:13-24, 28-31

On the same day that Jesus appeared to Mary, two other followers of Jesus were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, While they were talking and discussing the events of the last three days, Jesus himself came near and went with them,  but they did not recognize him.

He said to them, “What are you discussing? Why are you so sad?”  One of them answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?”

Jesus asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified.  We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.  Moreover, a woman of our group astounded us. She was at the tomb early this morning, and when she did not find his body there, she came back and told us that she had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive.  Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the woman had said; but they did not see him.”

 As they came near the village to which they were going, they urged Jesus to stay with them. “Stay the night,” they said. “It is almost evening.” So Jesus went in to stay with them.  When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.”