“Christianity is life with the Risen Jesus!”

A sermon/reflection for Easter Sunday – Year B

The readings for this Sunday are those of Easter Sunday:

  • Isaiah 25.6-9

  • Psalm 118. 1-2, 14-24

  • 1 Corinthians 15. 1-11

  • John 20. 1-18

You might like to use the link below to find the above readings, and click on any of the reading above that you wish to use: http://www.katapi.org.uk/CommonWorship/CWLectionarySelV.php

Collect of the day

Let us first spend a few moments in silence to centre ourselves,
to gather ourselves in our souls,
to come before the Lord just as we are with our joys and sorrows,
our hopes and our fears, our loves and our pains.
Let us just focus our minds and hearts on Jesus
who is the answer for every problem.
Let us pray that the Spirit will work through our lives
to bring Christ to the world.

Silence is kept

Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
breaking the chains of death and hell:
and filling your Church with faith and hope;
as a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ;
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Prayer before the Sermon

Loving Heavenly Father,
we thank you
for the words you have given us today.
We know they are words of life and salvation.
Open our hearts Father,
touch our souls,
help us to respond to your word
and know that you are indeed our Lord and Saviour.
May we experience in our hearts
your love and your presence always.

Amen.

A homily based on the readings of today is given below:

“Christianity is life with the Risen Lord Jesus!”

Question

Why is Christianity good for our health?

Because we proclaim the good news that we are loved and forgiven by God no matter how messed up we are or what we have done.

The cross and the Paschal candle

The Paschal Candle is lit today and we’ll light it every Sunday of the year to remind us that Jesus rose from the dead, that he is the light of the world, the light of our hearts, that he has conquered evil and death once and for all!

The cross reminds us of suffering, sacrifice and death; the candle reminds us of life, light, love. We celebrate! Jesus is risen for ever from the dead!

We are loved!

What we celebrate today is the victory of love, victory of God. We remember that “Greater love has no one than this that he lays down his life for his friends.” (John 15.13)

And we believe that, “God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3.16)

Victor Hugo, in one of his books, says:

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.”

All that we have done as a Church in the period of Lent leading up to the Holy Week is simply remembering and celebrating this one singular and beautiful fact – we are loved by a God so much so that he has given us his own son to us as the saviour and healer of our lives.

In short, we celebrate today God’s singular, unconditional and forgiving love of us.

So what does the “resurrection mean to me?”

It means that love has conquered death.

It means that our life is not short, it is eternal. We have not death before us but eternity. We were born not to die but to live eternally and so we don’t grieve. Life does not pass, only time passes. Eternity has no end.

If Jesus “went about doing good” as we heard in the first reading, while he was alive, now after he rose from the dead he is able to be in the whole world, in every person, in every place, in every event. He is, as Paul writes to the Colossians in 3.11, “all and in all”. And so we can meet him everywhere and at all times!

But what does it mean for us today?

What does it come down to finally?

The writer Saint Exupery in his book “The Little Prince” says: “We only see with the eyes of love.” Love is the only creative, redemptive force in the world.

The point for us now is just this –

“Have you met this God of Love who shed his blood and died for us on the cross and who rose again for us?”

“Have you encountered him?”

“Do you truly believe that Jesus Christ is your Saviour?”

“Do you love him?”

“Have you experienced his forgiving love?”

Have you given your life into his hands?

Only when you honestly answer these questions will you experience resurrection in your life as well!

Spend some time in silence, responding to what you have heard today and listening to what God might be saying to you.

 

Pause to pray …

A further Prayer you can say now:

Lord Jesus,
I believe you are the Son of God.
Thank you for becoming one of us.
Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.
Thank you for rising from the dead
to give me hope and the gift of eternal life.

I repent of my sins
and invite you into heart and life
as my Lord and Saviour.
Please grant me your Holy Spirit
so that I may know you, love you
and follow you every day of my life.

Amen.

[Revd Dr ST Mattapally, Rector, Springline Parish, Diocese of Lincoln]