Prelude: 

9:15 AM          Light the Candles:

9:25 AM          Welcome, Informal Moments, Announcements

Call to Worship:

L: Welcome today! Look where our Lenten journey has brought us!

P: We walked the seashore and the hills with Jesus; we went to the upper room and to the Garden of Sorrows, we stood at the cross and hid in a room out of our fear.

L: Now we are here, in the splendor and beauty of this place!

P: Everything is bursting with life. Jesus is alive! He is risen!

L: Hallelujah!

P: Hallelujah! AMEN

Opening Prayer: We have to admit it, Lord, that we had our doubts. We have heard the Resurrection story and for so many years it has remained just a nice story. But this time it is different. This time we have walked the path with Christ. We have journeyed through the wilderness and valleys, to the mountaintops to the courtyard, the garden and the cross. Now you bring us to the empty tomb and to the joyous news of the truth of Christ. Forgive us when we so easily doubt the truth of his resurrection. Forgive us when we feel we have to have absolute proof of everything. Your love in Jesus Christ is all the proof we need. You conquered death and sin, you brought us to new life. We praise your holy name and sing our unending song of hope and thanksgiving. Christ the Lord is risen today. Alleluia. AMEN.

Opening Hymn: “He Lives” UMH 310

Prayers of the people for the people:

Prayer of Silent petition:

**Passing of the Peace: 

**Hymn: “He is Lord” UMH 177 

**Lord’s Prayer

Hymn: “Up From the Grave He Arose” UMH 322

Scripture Reading:

1 Corinthians 15:19-26 (NRSV)

19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.[a] 21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22 for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end,[b] when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Special Music: “Was It A Morning Like This” John Steinke

Gospel Reading:

John 20:1-18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Resurrection of Jesus

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look[a] into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,[b] “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Hymn: “Because He Lives” UMH 364

Sermon: Hope in the Midst of Despair”

**Closing Hymn: “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”  UMH 302

Litany/Reading

L: Christ is risen!

P: We walked the valleys and saw the people crying in need. Jesus reached out to them. He did not criticize or diminish their needs. He touched their lives and they were never the same. The love that flowed through him to them was God’s healing love.

L: Christ is risen!

P: We sat at table in the Upper Room as Jesus told of his death and we wanted to discount his words. How could he die? We did not want to believe it. It was easier to proclaim with bravado our faith than to listen to his words.

L: Christ is risen!

P: We waited in the Garden of Sorrows while he prayed and watched in horror as he was betrayed with a kiss. We followed at a distance and denied, with Peter, ever knowing who he was. We were in the crowd that clamored for Barabbas’ release and turned our backs as Pilate washed his hands of the crime.

L: Christ is risen!

P: We followed him to the hill and cringed as they nailed him to the Cross. We heard his words of forgiveness and love from the cross and felt the ground tremble as the sky darkened and he gave up his life, into his father’s hands.

L: Christ is risen!

P: We ran from the empty tomb today, with the incredible news that He is Risen! He was not captured by death, but is risen from the dead, just as he said he would be. We come with the joy in our hearts to this day. As the flowers in our worship area burst with color, so we burst with the absolute joyous news CHRIST IS

RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA. AMEN.

**Benediction: Go forth in joy! Let your voices ring with victory; for Christ is Risen! Happy Easter!

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