easter saturday // prayers & readings {2018)


Scripture Reading

Matthew 28.16-20

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

-silence-

Readings

from a 4th-Century sermon

Poor death, where is your sting?
Poor hell, where is your triumph?
Christ steps out of the tomb and you are reduced to nothing.
Christ rises and the angels are wild with delight.
Christ rises and life is set free.
Christ rises and the graves are emptied of dead.
Oh yes, for he broke from the tomb like a flower, a beautiful fruit:
The first fruit of those already gone.
All glory be his, all success and power… for ever and ever. Amen.

John Chrysostom

from “For All God’s Worth”

The message of the resurrection is that this world matters! That the injustices and pains of this present world must now be addressed with the news that healing, justice, and love have won… If Easter means Jesus Christ is only raised in a spiritual sense- (then) it is only about me, about finding a new dimension in my personal spiritual life. But if Jesus Christ is truly risen from the dead, Christianity becomes good news for the whole world- news which warms our hearts precisely because it isn’t just about warming hearts. Easter means that in a world where injustice, violence and degradation are endemic, God is not prepared to tolerate such things- and that we will work and plan, with all the energy of God, to implement the victory of Jesus over them all. Take away Easter and Karl Marx was probably right to accuse Christianity of ignoring the problems of the material world. Take it away and Freud was probably right to say Christianity is wish-fulfillment. Take it away and Nietzsche probably was right to say it was for wimps.

–excerpt by N.T. Wright

{readings from the 2018 Lent & Easter Prayerbook from Liberti Church Center City + Mainline // art credit: “Sower with Setting Sun” by Vincent Van Gogh}

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