Easter Day: Week of April 17, 2022
Begin your devotion time by praying this: God of all creation, the wondrous mystery of Your love is made known to us through the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ. Renew our faith that we might share the miracle of Your divine love with others. Amen.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice on the Way of Love is GO. In this week’s reading, Mary Magdalene demonstrates tremendous faith as she embraces the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection. What are some miracles in your life, big or small, that you can give gratitude to God for? How can these blessings in your life serve as a catalyst to act as an answered prayer in the life of another?
Adult and Small Child
Reflect: Happy Easter! Jesus is Risen! These are the joyful greetings we say today as we celebrate Easter. Mary Magdalene was a good friend of Jesus and she was very, very sad that he had died. But then, when she suddenly recognized him outside the tomb and discovered that he had risen, it was a moment when she suddenly felt overwhelming joy! She felt so much joy that she was glad to listen to Jesus tell her to go and tell the others – she joyfully ran off to tell everyone the amazing news!
Respond: Can you, like Mary Magdalene, go and tell others about the good news of Jesus?! A fun Easter greeting is the traditional Paschal call-and-response: “Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!” Today, practice having one person in your family say “Christ is Risen” in a very excited voice and everyone in earshot can reply – also with a joyful tone – “Truly He is risen!” If you gather with friends and family to celebrate this day, you can teach them the greeting and response as well. If you gather for a festive Easter meal, make this greeting and the response a part of your Easter prayer. You can also say “Christ is risen!” throughout the week (and whole Easter season) so that everyone can keep repeating the joyful response!
- Katy Seitz Denning
Adult and Elementary
Reflect: Happy Easter Day everyone! I hope that you're excited today! Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed! I used to enjoy watching new businesses as they prepared for their grand opening day. One day, a new ice cream parlor, named "Scoops," was readying itself to join the Flatbush Avenue group of businesses. Scoops was not just any ice cream shop; they had Caribbean tropical flavors like soursop, guava, and mango. I had not yet tasted any of those flavors but, they sounded so delicious! I was so excited as I passed Scoops every day on the way to school. I started telling my classmates and friends all about Scoops. Before too long, Scoops opened and I was one of the first few people in the shop. Mango ice cream has been a favorite of mine ever since then! In today's reading, Mary Magdalene learns that Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus tells Mary to go and tell the disciples the good news! Mary does just that. Alleluia!
Respond: Are you going to spend any time with friends today? I hope that you will. You can play this game with people your age or with adults. The game is a variation of the game of "Tag." Instead of tagging someone and saying, "You're it!" You can tag someone and say, "Christ is Risen!" Then the tagged person has to run around and tell others, "The Lord is Risen, indeed!" Make sure to take a few breaks as you run around.
- Imani Driskell
Adult and Youth
Reflect: The Lord is Risen! In today’s lesson we find Mary Magdalene heading to Jesus’s tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, a typical event that took place during the time. But when she arrived, she found the tomb empty. I’m sure her first thoughts were fear of who could have taken Jesus’s body away. Of course, she panics and hurries off to find the disciples for help. When Peter arrives, he first notices the cloth wrappings were still there. This was a significant moment because why would someone steal Jesus’s body but leave the cloth wrappings? Mary was still very upset, feeling completely hopeless. Then, when Jesus appears and begins talking to her, she doesn't even recognize him because she is still so upset. Imagine the feeling when she finally realizes who she is actually talking to? It turns out his body wasn’t missing at all. Instead, it was made new! Jesus then tells her she must go and tell others what she has seen.
Respond: Easter reminds us that we have been redeemed by Jesus, and given new life. How does this Easter make you new? Did you give something up or take on something new for Lent this year? How has that changed you? I took up running this Lent and successfully ran a 5k for the first time ever. Am I done with running now just because I have reached Easter? No, I am determined to keep it going. What can you do with this new life God has given you? How can you be like Mary and tell others what you have seen and experienced this Lent and Easter?
- Lauren Wainwright
Adult and Adults
Reflect: One of our oft-told family stories is of our young son discovering that the strawberries he’d lovingly planted in our backyard as part of a Cub Scout project had been eaten, some partially and others devoured along with leaves completely off the stems. Whether they were enjoyed by squirrels, rabbits, or birds (or all three), the loss was devastating to him, and his first reaction was simply to tell others, his parents. Though nowhere near the scale of Mary’s discovery that first Easter morning, he, like her, had to GO and tell trusted others just what had happened. And of course, once the others were told they had to go see for themselves. Our son was confused by his loss, and perhaps Mary and eventually Peter and the Beloved Disciple among other emotions were confused as well. So much to take early that Sunday morning!
Respond: This day, as you joyously join other believers in singing “Jesus Christ is risen today, Hallelujah….” commit to sharing that very good news with many others very far and very wide. Prayerfully consider what it might mean in contemporary society to be Mary – to whom would you go first and how would you describe what you’d seen? How do you describe what you believe today? Take a moment this Easter to immerse yourself in this first Easter, paying particular attention both to your surprise and your actions – how will you GO?
- Mallard Benton