Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Experience - meditations for Easter Sunday

Our worship began differently as members of the congregation were invited to come to the foot of the cross, adorn it with flowers and then make their way to the rooms around the church and in their mind's eye to visit the empty tomb, journey to Emmaus and on to Galilee.  For those sitting in the church our organist played music from the last movement of Mahler's Ressurrection Symphony as people were invited to reflect on these meditations as they looked at the flowers and at the cross.

During the service we once again sat around the table as we had done on Maundy Thursday evening and we shared in the Lord's Supper.

 Happy Easter
   and welcome to Highbury

There’s so much more to Easter!
It’s a holiday and much more!
It’s Easter Eggs and much more!
It’s Spring and much more!
It’s glorious flowers and much more!
It’s a mystery and much more!
It’s history and much more!
It’s faith and much more!
It’s something to experience

We invite you to take time to experience
Easter as you walk around the church and
reflect on the message of the first Easter
and the difference it makes this Easter.

Come to the foot of the cross and move on
to the empty tomb. Make the journey to
Emmaus and on to Galilee and discover the
promise of 153 Hsh and the charcoal fire.

And in church use those flowers and the
wonderful music that fills this place to think
of the resurrection victory we all may share

in the risen Christ.

At the foot of the Cross

It once stood stark,
Bare and barren
On a hilltop
It once bore the pain
And the agony
Of one who felt abandoned,
Abandoned by God.
It once had the last word

But no longer

Into a thing of beauty
It stands empty
For the one who bore that pain
The one who endured that agony
Has risen!

He is risen indeed!

Look and see
The lamb of God
Who has taken away the sin of the world
And lay at the foot of the cross
The burden that weighs you down.

Hear from the cross
Those words of forgiveness

Father, forgive

And know that forgiving love
Deep in your heart

Forgiven, freed of the burden
Sense the presence
Of the risen Christ

                           The Empty Tomb

See the folded grave clothes
Sense the mystery
All had been lost
But no longer

The Dawn breaks
The Sun rises
The Son is risen

He is risen indeed!

And yet the burial had to happen
The end had to come
The dumb, sense of nothingness

There was no escaping it
Only through its seeming defeat
Could victory come

Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
Through our Lord Jesus Christ

It’s not the emptiness of the tomb
That makes the difference

It’s the presence of the risen one,

The presence of the one
Who spoke the name of Mary
Who speaks the name of each of us

The presence of the one
Who goes ahead of us to the
Galilee of our fears
And meets us there!

                           The Road to Emmaus

The road can seem long and lonely
The conversation heavy with sadness
All hope is gone
Nothing is left to live for

It’s when we are at rock bottom
When all seems to have failed
That’s the moment He arrives,
The moment He draws alongside us..

Not that we recognise that presence

He reaches out to meet us
Just where we are
In the midst of all our questioning

He is there with us.

It’s a long road to follow
It feels as if we are alone

But One is there with us
All along the way

It would he so easy
To leave the stranger outside
Better by far to invite him in

And then comes a moment,
Not planned, not anticipated
A moment when His presence is real

It’s really there.

The moment passes 
But the journey goes on 
There is so much to share
And such little time

               On to the Galilee of our fears

There's something about a cooked breakfast
The smell lingers
It does now
It did then.

Was there expectation in their hearts?
Did they think they would see him again?

Or were they simply going back,
Back to what they knew best

Or thought they knew best.

They did everything they should have done
But they caught nothing.

Familiar, yet fearful too
Galilee was different now
They had given up so much to follow him
And without him their fears grew.

And then his presence was there
Making a difference to them
As ever he had done before.

Such a massive catch of fish
153 in alll

And a charcoal ire to cook them on!

But it was his presence and the promise
That made the difference.

It was a presence that would never depart
A promise that brought peace
A presence that meant the work had to go on
A task to do, a message to share
And a new way of living
In the Presence of the Risen One

In prayer and in praise

So, what difference does it all make?

Take time to be still,
Take time to be quiet
And sense again the presence
Sense again the promise

It may be a promise of peace
It may be the presence deep in your heart

In prayer open your heart
to the God who is love
and bring before God the needs
of those you love,
of those you hear of on the news
the needs of troubled people
the needs of a troubled world

And here in Church
Look again
at the beauty of those spring flowers
relive the story of that first Easter

Hear again
The beauty of resurrection
In the music that surrounds us

And be prepared
To hear God’s word
To sense God’s promise
To take God’s love
Into whatever lies ahead

Experience Easter not just here
In this place in the breaking of bread
But as you take the presence
of the Risen Christ
out into a world of need.


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