Sunday, April 16, 2017

Being There - on Easter Morning

Early on Easter morning we gathered together on Cleeve Hill where we walked to a wonderful limestone quarry, not unlike the limestone quarries of Jerusalem and to the top of the hill where you feel on top of the world. The sin shone brightly, the sky larks were in full voice and we celebrated Easter together. Then we returned to Highbury for bacon butties and our Easter celebrations ...

Being There
An Easter Celebration
On this, the day of resurrection, as we follow the women to the tomb and the disciples to the mountain top in Galilee let us think of ourselves as Being There: one of the women, one of the disciples … in Christ.
In the secret, in the quiet place,
In the stillness you are there.
In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait
only for you
'cause I want to know you more.
I want to know you,
I want to hear your voice,
I want to know you more.
I want to see you,
I want to see your face,
I want to know you more.
I am reaching for the highest goal,
that I might receive the prize.
Pressing onward, pushing every
hindrance aside, out of my way,
'cause I want to know you more.

Andy Park (born 1957) (CCLI 3540)

To a spot near the Tomb
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said,
 ‘Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, “After three days I will rise again.” Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead”, and the last deception would be worse than the first.’
Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.’
So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
To the Tomb
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
And 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.
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.
But the angel said to the women,
‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then 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.’
Ch:       Blessed be the name of the Lord    x3
            On high
v1        You are my rock in troubled times
            You are my Rod and Staff too
            You are my shelter from the storm
            Let’s give the glory that’s due
            to Your name
Ch:       Blessed be the name of the Lord    x3
            On high
v2        You came from heaven to save us
            Came down to earth to serve
            You bore our sins upon the cross
            Gave us Love undeserved
            By Your Grace
Ch:       Blessed be the name of the Lord    x3
            On high
So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Back to the spot near the tomb
Suddenly Jesus met them and said,
And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him.
Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’
Part way up the hill
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, ‘You must say, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.” If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’
So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Judaeans to the point when Matthew was writing the account.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
To the top of the hill
When they saw him, they worshipped 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.’

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there! the risen Lamb!
My perfect, spotless Righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
the King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself, I cannot die;
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Saviour and my God.
With Christ, my Saviour and my God.

Charitie L De Chenez (1841–1923)

Go with us into all that lies ahead
Go with us into our town,
Go with us into our church
Go with us into our homes
Go with us into our world
Be in our hearts
Be in our minds
Be in our thoughts
Be in our homes
Be in our world
Now and forevermore.


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