Here are worship materials for Easter 2021.
One: Christ is risen!
All: Christ is risen, indeed.
One: Jesus lives
All: Jesus is Lord!
Call to Worship Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 Adapted
One: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
All: Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
One: The Lord is our strength and our might; he has become our salvation.
All: There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
One: for we shall not die, but we shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
All: The Lord has treated his servant severely, but he did not give him over to death.
One: So we thank him that he has become our salvation.
All: The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
One: This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
All: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
One: Let us greet one another in this joy: “The peace of Christ be with you.”
All: And also with you.
Prayer of Invocation
Gracious Jesus, resurrected Lord, we come to this morning of mornings hoping for the feeling of triumph, of overwhelming joy. We come, some of us, with many Easters behind us, and we know how this is supposed to go—what it’s supposed to look like and sound like.
Not this: we recognize that this one doesn’t fill the type.
Yet, neither does the story as we’ll remember it today. Mark’s testimony of the truth of the resurrection is thick with ambiguity, and unsettling as to what it means. The women: alarmed and amazed and terrified and struck to silence. Your body, whether dead or living: nowhere to be found. Your being as ever: gone ahead, while we are once again simply to go after.
Help us to go after you in faith. Help us to go back to the place where it was first said the Kingdom of God had come near in you. Help us to start there and to follow once again in your way, for by this we will come closer yet to your reign, for by this we will be saved, liberated from the powers of this world that imprison, that stifle and suffocate and ensnare, liberated as one whose ransom has been paid in full.
When injustice insists upon itself, help us to rise and stand firm in your resurrection. When cause for revolution, even insurrection, presses itself upon us, help us to withstand in the truth of resurrection—a setting back up of righteousness when it has been knocked down and held down, or strung up and hung up.
Easter today is not as we’d like it. Grant that it might be as we need it—for tomorrow, which though is any old day, is also your day, and we seek to live it, as with all our days, for your sake of resurrected love. Amen.