Word of the Week and Easter Theme

Sunday, April 12, 2020 Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day, Year A

This is the day the Lord has made! Christ is risen, and through him all creation is made new! Indeed, “God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34): Christ’s resurrection truly brings life to everyone. We sing hymns of praise, gather around sacred words, and proclaim God’s faithfulness, power, and love in the feast of holy communion. With the women at the tomb, we are astonished, elated, and grateful. We depart with joy to proclaim the good news of God’s endless love.

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.

First Reading: Acts 10:34-43
34Peter began to speak to the people: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good; God’s mercy endures forever. 2Let Israel now declare, “God’s mercy endures forever.” 14The Lord is my strength and my song, and has become my salvation. 15Shouts of rejoicing and salvation echo in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly! 16The right hand of the Lord is exalted! The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly!” 17I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.18The Lord indeed punished me sorely, but did not hand me over to death. 19Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter them and give thanks to the Lord. 20“This is the gate of the Lord; here the righteous may enter.” 21I give thanks to you, for you have answered me and you have become my salvation.22The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23By the Lord has this been done; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4
1If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Gospel: Matthew 28:1-10
1After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Theme for the Season of Easter

Risen to a New Vision: From Darkness to Light; From Death to Life

Easter is a season to walk with the risen Christ. We have come from Lenten despair into resurrection hope. The tomb is empty, Christ is risen. This is a season to live into the new life we are given in Christ.

Risen to a New Vision: Many readings this season are from the New Testament book of Revelation. In Revelation, we see a new vision of Christ as the victorious lamb of God. We see a new vision of renewed creation, where death is no more. We see a new vision of every nation together in worship. This season, God brings us a new vision.

From Darkness to Light: Jesus has moved from the darkness of the sealed tomb into the light of a new day. We are brought along this journey through the Holy Spirit given to us. Throughout the Easter season, Jesus talks about a coming spirit that will lead us out of the darkness into the light.

From Death to Life: God has been moving all creation, all humanity from death to life, culminating in the resurrection of Christ. We are the people of the cross, the people of the tomb, and the people of the resurrection. Christ is risen indeed.