April – 2015
Easter Sunday (Apr 5th)
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (10.34, 37-38, ESV)
The Apostle Peter said, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality…” [He continued], “You yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and with power. Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were [bound by fear], for God was with him.”
A reading from the wisdom of Kathleen Rolenz
Somewhere across the world,
Easter is breaking;
not the Easter we may think of,
with arms upraised and “he is risen” echoing from canyons,
but a much quieter, less dramatic Easter.
Somewhere in the world – perhaps not this day, but someday soon,
a woman and a man rise from their beds,
shaking the sleep from their eyes, and find their children already awake and preparing for their morning prayers.
There has been no gunfire, no drug wars, no yelling or shouting or screaming, only the quiet of the night and the peace of silence around them.
And somewhere in the world, perhaps not this morning, but soon, very soon,
A soldier is packing his duffle bag, has emptied out all his bullets, is changing into civilian clothes,
and is coming home, for peace has long been established, and there is no need for his presence.
And somewhere in the world, Easter dawn breaks over the earth,
not only on this day, but every day,
and the familiar pulse in our veins throbs of “peace, peace, peace.”
A reading from the gospel according to Mark (16.1-8, GNT)
After the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices to go and anoint the body of Jesus. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3-4 On the way they said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” (It was a very large stone.) Then they looked up and saw that the stone had already been rolled back. 5 So they entered the tomb, where they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe—and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here—he has been raised! Look, here is the place where he was placed. 7 Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: ‘He is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him, just as he told you.’” 8 So they went out and ran from the tomb, distressed and terrified. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
A Reading from the wisdom of Alfred Lord Tennyson
“Speak to [God], thou, for God heareth and spirit with spirit doth meet. Closer is [God] than breathing, nearer than hands or feet.”
A Reading from the wisdom of John Greeleaf Whittier
“We have felt the heart of the Silence throb with a soundless word; And by the inward ear alone the Spirit’s voice we heard. And the spoken word is written on air, and wave and sod; And the bending walls of sapphire blaze with the thought of God.”
A Reading from the 4th Gospel (John 20.19-22)
“On the evening of the first day of the week, the disciples were hiding behind locked doors for fear of the authorities, and Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw him. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Holy One has sent me, so I send you.’ And then he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Breath.’”
A Reading from the wisdom of William L. Fischer
“Jesus Christ showed all of us that we each have direct access to God. He did not walk across the land saying, ‘Look what I, as the son of God, can do.’ Rather, he walked among the people, telling them in effect, ‘Here is what you, as a child of God, can do’…He told us of our true estate: we are reflections of God Almighty.”
A Reading from the Gospel According to Luke (24.13-24, 28-31)
Two disciples were traveling to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking to each other about everything that had happened. 15 While they were discussing these things, Jesus himself arrived and joined them on their journey. 16 They were prevented from recognizing him. 17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” They stopped, their faces downcast. 18 The one named Cleopas replied, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who is unaware of the things that have taken place there over the last few days?” 19 Jesus asked, “What things?”
They said to him, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth. Because of his powerful deeds and words, he was recognized by God and all the people as a prophet. 20 But he was handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified. 21 We had hoped he was the one who would rescue [our homeland]. All these things happened three days ago. 22 But there’s more: Some women from our group have left us stunned. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 and didn’t find his body. They came to us saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who told them he is alive.24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women said. They didn’t see him.”
28 When they came to Emmaus, Jesus acted as if he was going on ahead. 29 But they urged him, saying, “Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 After he took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight.
A Reading from the wisdom of Alice Walker
“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot.”
A Reading from the wisdom of Melody Beattie
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
A reading from the Psalter (118.1, 5-6, 14, 21, 23-29)
Oh, thank God who is so good! Divine loving-kindness is forever. In my distress I prayed, and God answered me and rescued me. God is for me! How can I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? God is my strength and song when trouble seems fierce, and now God has given me the victory. I am so thankful to God for answering my prayer and lifting me up.
This is the Holy One’s doing, and it is marvelous to see! This is the day our God has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. O Source of Life, please help us. Save us. Give us success….
The Great I Am is our light. I present my offering…for you are my God, and I shall give you this thanks and this praise. Oh, give thanks to the Holy One who is so good! Divine loving-kindness is forever.