Highworth United Reformed Church

Here for you

Easter Sunday   12th April 2020

Bible Reading: Matthew 28

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
His cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring.
His love in death shall never die!

 Not throned above, remotely high,
untouched, unmoved by human pains
but daily, in the midst of life,

our Saviour in the Godhead reigns.

 Christ is alive! No longer bound
to distant years in Palestine,
he comes to claim the here and now,
and conquer every place and time.

 In every insult, rift and war,
where colour, scorn or wealth divide,
Christ suffers still, yet loves the more,
and lives where even hope has died.!

Christ is alive and comes to bring
good news to this and every age,
till earth and sky and ocean ring
with joy, with justice, love and praise!

beautiful and amazing hymn by Brian Wren (Rejoice and Sing 260). Take your
time, read it slowly, sing it if you know the tune. And then read it again. What
words speak out to you personally, or you feel are significant for the reality we live
today. This is a hymn I would have loved for us all to sing together, and when we
come together we will. This is a hymn that picks up where we left off on Friday, and
after the time to reflect and realize what God has been working on over the
Saturday, we can affirm it hope and with joy.

                               Open Tomb

It's dawn, the first light of the day and two women approach the tomb. They
expected to find it as they had left it on Friday, closed and with armed guards
outside. And once again things aren't what they expect.

The stone that closed the tomb has been rolled away. It is open. The guards were
so afraid they froze. And they hear the often repeated words "Don’t be afraid…he
is not here, he has risen" and then the invitation: Come and see, and after the
invitation the instruction:    God quickly and tell the disciples.

And the new is no longer something to expect, rather something to be announced.
And the new is so new that it is different from the old: the women are the first to
announce the Good News - Life has not been defeated, quite the opposite, death
has been defeated.

What follows are two amazing realities, that connect what has been going on over
the last few days:
1. The powers that nailed Jesus to the cross devise a plan that
can only be sustained on bribery and lies. No resurrection, but that the body has
been stolen during the night.
2. The disciples meet where they have been told to go. Those who had
abandoned him on Friday, those who had lied, who had run, who had denied; they
are all there on the mount (all except for one who denied God the possibility of
showing the amazing love the others have discovered).

To this group of fragile, broken, vulnerable human beings who are experiencing the
full meaning of life and love and hope, the dead and resurrected says !Go, make
disciples, teach" and on this Walking the Way "will be with you always, to the very end of the age".
This is the explosion of love and grace, that sends us - human beings created by

God in deep love- to reach out, also in that same love, to other human beings - no
discrimination, no limits to such love. So we are on the journey, and even if this year
we can reach out to others, we are still on the way. Even if social distancing we love,
we pray, we rejoice, we hope. We believe and know that because the stone has been
rolled away nothing can limit what is the Good News - Life continues to triumph
over death, over fear, over isolation, over everything that tries to limit that gift
from God.

From Hosanna to Halleluiah - May God -Creator, Life affirming, Life transforming
be praised! Surprises God to discover not what we expect but what you are showing us,

Christ is alive and comes to bring
good news to this and every age,
till earth and sky and ocean ring
with joy, with justice, love and praise!

Easter - New Life. New Hope.