Sunday Service: 10 AMSunday Service: 10 AMSunday Service: 10 AM

Sunday Service: 10 AM

Sunday Service: 10 AM

Sunday Service: 10 AM

[Easter Sunday] Message
April 12, 2020

[Easter Sunday] Message

Passage: John 20:1-18
Service Type:

Bible Text: John 20:1-18 | Preacher: Bev Wiens | Message:  Easter 2020 – So Very Different!

Was it a morning like this? When the Son still hid from Jerusalem.
And Mary rose from her bed to tend to the Lord she thought was dead.

Was it a morning like this? When Mary walked down from Jerusalem.
And two angels stood at the tomb, bearers of news she would hear soon.

Did the grass sing? Did the earth rejoice to feel You again?

Over and over like a trumpet underground.

Did the earth seem to pound, “He is risen!”
Over and over in a never-ending round. 

“He is risen, hallelujah, hallelujah!”   (Part of a Song by Sandi Patti)
Was it a morning like this?
When the Son still hid from Jerusalem
And Mary rose from her bed
To tend to the Lord she thought was dead
Was it a morning like this?
When Mary walked down from Jerusalem
And two angels stood at the tomb
Bearers of news she would hear soon
Did the grass sing?
Did the earth rejoice to feel You again?
Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound, “He is risen!”
Over and over in a never-ending round
“He is risen, hallelujah, hallelujah!”
Was it a morning like this?
When Peter and John ran from Jerusalem
And as they raced towards the tomb
Beneath their feet was there a tune?
Did the grass sing?
Did the earth rejoice to feel You again?
Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound, “He is risen!”
Over and over in a never-ending round
“He is risen, hallelujah, hallelujah!”
Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound, “He is risen!”
Over and over in a never-ending round
“He is risen, hallelujah, hallelujah!”
Was it a morning like this?
When my Lord looked out on Jerusalem
He is risen
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah!
Easter 2020 – So Very Different!

Recently, on a Saturday morning, very early, I decided to get myself moving.  After a week of self-imposed isolation (thanks to COVID-19) and as the sun was shining, the air crisp, I dressed for the weather and went for a walk.

It is so amazing – what you see, hear and find, at such a time of day.  All was so very quiet, no cars on the roads, not a creature was stirring, as it were.  I was suddenly very aware of that quiet.

I heard a Dove coo, a Woodpecker pecking at a tree, a dog barking in a backyard as he heard my footsteps going by.  The air smelled fresh, and I could smell woodsmoke, from a log fire, burning in someone’s fireplace; and I wondered if this is what it would feel like if there was no one left on the earth, just me. It is amazing where your thoughts will go when you are all alone and experiencing God’s handiwork with some pleasure and yet much trepidation.

My mind wandered to the place of memories, and I was transported back many years to a situation my family experienced – something that had come and gone so many years ago.

The word Quarantine or the term self-isolation, means many things to many people – by definition quarantine means a state, period, or place of isolation, in which people or animals, that have arrived from elsewhere or have been exposed to infectious or contagious disease, are placed.  This word tends to strike fear in the hearts of any who are faced with its eventuality.

For me, this COVID-19 Virus scare, is not the first quarantine/self isolating situation, I have experienced in my life. Many years ago, at the age of 13, my brothers, sister and I were put into quarantine, in our family home, for a period of 14 days.  The reason – my father had contracted Meningococcal Meningitis, a highly contagious disease.  He was very sick, and eventually, within a few days, fell into a comma.

We did fear for his life. His fever so high, that the Doctors didn’t really know what would happen, if, or when, he would regain consciousness.  This disease, would, within a week, render my father totally blind and the rest of our family in a state of confusion, upset and fear for his future and ours.

There comes with any moving experience in one’s life, the eventual outcome of the situation.  I remember just how I felt the day, the local Health Authority posted the Notice of Quarantine on our front and back doors.  Not admittance!!! Stay Away!!! Highly Contagious Disease!!!

The feeling of abandonment, as my mother and one brother were at the hospital in Niagara Falls, where my father had been transferred. I, at the age of 13, was looking after my remaining siblings, the feeling of being ostracized by those who would read the notice and shy away from our house and of those who resided in it.  The fear for my father’s welfare and that of my Mother and brother, and for those of us who were left at home to wonder whether we would be next, to get this terrible disease.

Today, this time, the fear is not only for myself as a senior in one of the prime target areas, but for a granddaughter struggling with Cancer and its treatments, that are rendering her immune system in great jeopardy, from not only the cancer that is attacking her body, but this COVID-19 virus as well.
There is great fear for her life, for the welfare of her parents, who are exhausted and stressed beyond belief, plus the welfare of her sisters, who are trying to carry on as best they can.

We, as extended family are forced to keep our distance, feeling fearful and very useless.  Our support only comes to them by way of words of love and encouragement, the best we can offer.  Prayers offered up daily, hourly, to make us feel that we are doing SOMETHING!

Now back to my walk.

The memories, yes; the fear, the helplessness, the prayers, the stress, all coming back to me as I continued to walk and think.  The sun was shining in my eyes and I lifted my face to it, feeling its warmth and began to think of the message I was working on for Easter Sunday and how all of a sudden, my focus for that message had changed; my message had changed, and my mind was filled with things I needed to express.

I began to wonder how Mary Magdalene, must have felt on that Easter Sunday morning, as she went to the grave of Christ after his burial, to anoint his body.

Was it a sunny morning, was the air crisp and clean smelling, was she even aware of those things, as she made her way to the tomb?  Were her thoughts of the Christ who had died for us, for all peoples of the world?  Was she remembering as I had, of things past, of fears for the future and just what was now instore for the world and all its people?

Christ died for us! He gave his life that we could be cleansed of our sins.  His trials and tribulations were for us!! What have we done to deserve such an act of total commitment? What made us worthy of this tremendous sacrifice?  Are we worthy???

As I walked on, I began to think of what this old world has become.  A place where people are so busy getting ahead; creating, doing and being, we have failed to remember what has taken place for us, we have forgotten what we have experienced, as we have grown, and how our lives have been shaped by the death of Christ, so many years ago.

Do we have the faith and the strength to carry on?  I am questioning mine! I am struggling with mine!! I am praying that I have what it takes to get through what is happening and going to happen in my future, in the future of my family, in the future of my friends and of the global community; praying that the Lord is listening to my prayers, to our prayers and that we will be able to adjust to whatever is his decision, in the final outcome, in the ramifications of what we are experiencing right now.

I seem to be so overwhelmed with thoughts of my family and for friends who are struggling with health issues, who are probably just as worried as I am, about what is going to happen to us all.

I am tearful and emotional, as I keep very much to myself, in my little apartment, cut off from my family, from the daughter who has become my confidant and support, from my best friend and from the people at my church, who have been such a support and a comfort to my whole family as they continue to support each other during my granddaughter’s journey, and have also given such appreciated support to my daughter and the rest of her family.

Now, at home, as I write down the thoughts brought on by my wanderings this morning, and just as I was trying to figure out where I was going with this message – it came to me.

“He is Risen”!!!! He rose from the dead!!  He did the impossible!! He gave us our lives, to live free from the sin that we carried.  The Lord gave us this, so that we could, should and would have the faith to carry on, no matter what is in our futures.

Christ died to give us the courage to do what we must, so that we could praise and glorify his name, as we live our lives and deal with what we, ourselves, essentially, have created in our world.

He is there, always there, to be our spiritual guide, to give us the faith and the stamina to deal with all things.  It may not be easy, but then how many things in this life rarely are easy.

We pray that our Lord will give us calm days ahead, after the stress and fears we are experiencing.  We pray that we have the faith – knowing  that our Lord is in charge, of all things; and that His will, not ours will be done.

He gave his son so that we could have this life. So that we could be here today, praising his resurrection and all that it stands for.

He is Lord!! He is Risen!! Hallelujah!! Let us celebrate this life that we have, and praise his holy name, forever!!

AMEN!!

 

[Easter Sunday] Bulletin

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