adapted from “Easter Prayer: Joy Comes in the Morning” by Mary Ann McKibben Dana
O God of power and might,
you have defeated Death,
and we shout Alleluia!
Let all that we do today be a prayer of praise.
For many of us,
it feels like this is an Easter just like the others,
with Easter hats and Sunday best,
with the ringing of bells and hymns of joy,
with the preparing of meals and gathering around tables and hunting for eggs…
But we pray that you will make this be an Easter like no other.
Let us see and hear with resurrection eyes and ears.
Let us discern signs of new life in the usual places—a new baby, the beauty of nature;
and in unusual places… who knows where we might find you if we but look?
We are aware, Lord, that it is daunting to be resurrection people
especially as we read and watch the news—
headlines announcing continued violence, poverty, suffering and despair.
We drink in these stories with our morning coffee, day after day,
and wonder where the Easter has gone.
Close to home, we know loved ones
who have felt the sting of death in their families;
people who struggle to survive the loss of a job,
people entombed by depression or a crippling illness.
Yes, our resurrection eyes are not blind to pain.
Our resurrection ears are not deaf to cries of suffering.
But as your resurrection people, we see your goodness
that outlasts and overpowers any darkness
we can experience or concoct.
Easter is the hinge of the story, but not the end.
You alone can roll away the stone,
but we are called
to run, and tell:
“We have seen the Lord!
Come and follow! Believe, and live!”
If we don’t, who will?
Resurrect us, O God of new life—resurrect us from our complacency and fear.
We believe that You have the power to do it, and we begin now as we pray together the prayer that Jesus taught us: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.”
In the fullness of time, Jesus came near to Jerusalem to fulfill God’spurpose and show God’s love.
ON SUNDAY, Jesus entered the city and the people cheered.
ON MONDAY, Jesus chased the money-changers out of the temple and the people were pleased.
ON TUESDAY, Jesus taught the people and answered their questions. The people were amazed!
ON WEDNESDAY, Jesus gathered his followers and told them of coming events. The disciples did not understand.
ON THURSDAY, Jesus and his followers celebrated the Passover and he gave them the Lord’s Supper. He went out to pray and was arrested.
ON FRIDAY, Jesus’ trial was completed and he was crucified. The people were responsible for his death.
ON SATURDAY, Jesus was in the tomb.
ON SUNDAY, Jesus was gone; the tomb was empty. He appeared ALIVE to the women who came searching for his body, to Peter and to John, to disciples in an upper room and again on the lakeshore.
Jesus appeared to over 500 believers at one gathering, and later to Paul on the road to Damascus. Jesus is alive and continues to reveal himself as light and life to countless believers through history and to us today.
He isRISEN! He is ALIVE! He is the rock of faith and source of hope for you, for me, and for all!
New day, new dawn,
new situation, the stone is gone.
Old conclusion, it had to be
due to common thievery
running, running everywhere
no body but cloths still there
Two see, one believes,
But what? They leave.
Mary stays, then looks in
Angels seated where the body had been;
One at the head, one at the feet
like cherubim on the Mercy Seat
Weeping still; they ask why?
The body’s gone, she’s mystified.
The turn, the gardener, the question again,
“For whom are you looking? Perhaps a friend?”
Help please, the body you took,
I’ll take it now, where might I look?
“Marian” he called, “Rabbouni” she replies
six syllables and death dies.
Joyous embrace; but not hers to hoard,
Her beloved Teacher, now living Lord.
“Cling no longer, to my brothers go,”
Yes, brothers now, and sisters also,
No longer servants, more than friends,
“My Father is your Father;” we’re kin.
In the logical language of cause and effect,
a cross brought death, a tomb would protect;
But logic proved speechless to express or contain,
the glorious news she was sent to proclaim.
Old plausibilities lie in shambles,
“I have seen the Lord,” is the new preamble.