Easter Morning – early service

In our homes, or back gardens, we can still celebrate an early service! We have prepared a shortened version for you to listen to and read through of what was our Easter Garden Service.

EASTER ACCLAMATION
Leader – Alleluia. Christ is risen.
All – He is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Leader – Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:
All – he has given us new life and hope
by raising Jesus from the dead.
Leader – God has claimed us as his own:
All – He has made us a light to the world.
Leader – Alleluia. Christ is risen.
All – He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

“Mary Magdalene turned around and saw Jesus standing there,
but she did not know it was Jesus…supposing him to be the gardener.” –John 20:14, 15

“On the third day the friends of Christ coming at day-break to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of a gardener God walked again in the garden, not in the cool of the evening, but in the dawn.” – G.K. Chesterton

EASTER LOVE
Love overcame
Emerging from a cold tomb
All the truth, majesty and creativity of a living God
Transforming a broken heart
Making a quiet return, in a still and sorrowful garden
The grave stone rolled away, to release redemptive love
Jesus resurrected and restored
Comforts a weeping woman
Speaks with travellers on a journey
Meets with his faithful friends
And they bow down before Christ alive
And acknowledged that the saviour has arrived
That the word of God has come alive
And that the extraordinary transformation of heaven and earth is complete

IN THE GARDEN – A SHORT EASTER MESSAGE
A gardener’s work is earthy and intimate. Gardeners have their hands in the humus. (We are humans from the humus.) Conductors and lawyers and bankers are concerned with abstract and impersonal things like tickets, laws, and money. But gardeners handle living things with living hands. Jesus is not afraid to get his hands dirty in the humus of humanity.

That Jesus is a gardener with a good heart and a green thumb should change your perspective on life. I promise you that your life is not so messed up that Jesus can’t nurture you into a flourishing state. This is the good news! Take a leap of faith and believe it!

Trust the gardener (and stay in his garden!) and Jesus will grow new life out of the husk of your old life. Please, stay in the garden. Yes, I know it’s easy to get depressed about ecclesial garbage. But just remember, even beautiful gardens have a compost pile.
Believing that Jesus is a good gardener tending to your soul really does change your perspective on life. So when “stuff” happens (you know the expression), don’t despair. Allow Jesus to use “it” as fertilizer to help you grow. Paul says something about God causing all things to work together for good…
Then there are those times when the gardener pulls out his shears. Oh, no! Pruning time! Pruning is the painful experience of loss. No one likes to be cut back. But the gracious intention of the good gardener is always the same: to prepare you to flourish. Jesus says, “every branch of mine that bears fruit is pruned, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2)

So take heart, if you’re in the garden, the gardener is there. You may not always recognize him at first, but he is there. He calls you by name and his desire is for you to flourish. Believe in the gardener…for he is risen!
Happy Easter!

PRAYER
Risen Lord, who is alive and full of grace.
You paid such a price that we may live in freedom today.
We worship your holy name and give thanks for your redeeming grace.
Heavenly Father,
May we drink in your tender love so that we can pour this love out to others.
Come reign in our hearts, minds and spirits.
Holy Spirit,
We welcome you to blow through our every word, action and thought.
Come transform us on the inside so that each day we become more like our risen Lord.
Amen.

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