umcgiving

April 12—Easter Sunday

A Moment for Mission

"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." —John 20:18, NRSV

Wake up, friends! Christ is risen; he is risen, indeed!

The women have been to the tomb, and they have found the stone rolled away, the body of Jesus gone. Angels reminded them that an empty tomb is not the place to look for Christ our Lord. Believe Jesus' own words from his time back in Galilee. Sinners would kill him on a cross, but he would rise from death to life! Do not doubt! This is not made up! Many saw him among the living after his death on the cross, and I know that you and I have seen him on the journey of our lives.

On this day, believe and celebrate the unfailing love of God for all of us! Let us release the stones of our lives that impede our belief in Christ our Lord. God believes that we are worthy of divine love, Christ's own love for us. This is the mighty good news of Easter Sunday! There is nothing that Christ won't forgive us for or help us with. If you have doubts, that's all right, too. You are still beloved of God!

On this day, bask in the love of God we have known in Christ Jesus, our risen Lord. It will never fail you or abandon you. Christ, God among us, is with you!

May you be blessed on this Easter Day!

 —"Easter Sunday Meditation," by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, California-Nevada Annual Conference, April 12, 2019. Used by permission.

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, on this day we rejoice in the words "Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!" Thank you for Jesus, who, through his sacrifice, gives us eternal life. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Easter Sunday – Mighty God of Resurrection and Redemption, we offer our gifts alongside our alleluias! We offer our hands and feet and voices to take the celebration out of this place into a world that needs hope so desperately! May we go into the world with such energy, excitement, and power that the ground shakes once again, that lightning flashes, and that people see in us your redeeming love and the triumph of light over darkness! In the name of the risen Christ, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 28:1-10)

Newsletter Nugget
I can hear nature's silence at the cemetery where Jesus was buried, a silence broken only by Mary's tears falling upon the ground and the heaving of her breast as she despaired over not only the death but also the full and complete disappearance of Jesus. But greater than Mary's despair was her passionate love of Jesus. Mary waited faithfully at that frightening, empty tomb.

Then Jesus appeared to Mary, and she mistook him for a gardener. Jesus called to her, "Mary." Finally, Mary realized that it was Jesus who stood before her. 

Jesus had said that the shepherd knows his sheep, calling them by name, and the sheep follow because they know his voice (John 10:2-4). Mary heard the voice of her shepherd, and she knew that voice immediately. 

Friends, the one before you on this day is Jesus, the risen Lord, our good shepherd! Follow the risen Christ into the days to come and be blessed. 

 —Adapted from "Episcopal Meditation for Easter Sunday," by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, California-Nevada Annual Conference, April 1, 2018. Used by permission.