Easter Sunday- Week of April 12, 2020
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord's resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Collects: Contemporary, Book of Common Prayer, p. 222)
Adult and Small Child
Read: Matthew 28:1-10
Reflect: Have you ever had something that was special to you, but lost it? A favorite stuffed animal, a truck, or a doll that you couldn’t find even after trying your hardest to look for it? Your favorite toy seemed to be lost forever, and every time you thought about playing with it, you became very sad. But then, all of a sudden, you found your lost toy and you were so happy! This is how the followers of Jesus felt after hearing of his resurrection. They were so full of joy that their teacher and friend, whom they thought they had lost forever was alive! Mary and Mary Magdalene were the first to see him, and they were so excited to go back and tell the others that Jesus was not dead and that he wanted to meet with them. Can you imagine how glad they were?
Respond: With the help of your parents, grandparents, or trusted adult, ask someone close to you if you can help them find something they have been looking for. Or, ask someone in these same groups to help you find something you’ve been looking for. Rejoice together and see who can locate the most lost and found objects!
- Quantrilla Ard
Adult and Elementary
Read: John 20:1-18
Reflect: When I was a child, I watched the flower garden near my front door to know when spring was approaching. My mom planted crocuses—small purple flowers that are often the first to bloom in the springtime. The snow would barely be melted some years before the crocuses would start sending up their tender, green shoots like tiny fireworks celebrating the return of life to the frozen ground.
Today we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. His return to life, like the purple and white crocuses in my mother’s flower garden, signals the beginning of something new. Mary and the other disciples lived in a land ruled by the Roman Empire. The leaders of Rome did not care for people well, and often harmed or killed people who they didn’t like. Jesus was one of the people Rome killed, but today we remember Jesus did not stay dead—he is alive! And more than that, Jesus tells Mary he is ascending to the Father, which means Jesus is becoming King! The way Jesus rules is different than Rome. Jesus’ Kingdom invites all people into love, rest and new life. This is why today is such a happy day!
Respond: Today, as you celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, go for a walk outside and look for the signs of new life emerging. Look closely at the dirt to see if you can spot any new plants sprouting. Sit silently with your eyes closed and listen closely for birds returning. Bring a bag with you as you walk and clear away any dead leaves remaining from the winter, or any litter along your path. Make way for new life!
- Megan Westra
Adult and Youth
Read: Matthew 28:1-10
Reflect: Though we mourn today, we rejoice in thanksgiving. Jesus is alive and as Jesus’ followers we remember his death and celebrate his resurrection every year. There are times in our lives where we can feel hopeless, fearful, and even sad. I imagine that is how the disciples and followers of Jesus felt with Jesus’ death. Jesus came to give hope and to heal the broken and even when His death made many feel lost, His resurrection brought forth joy and restored hope. Today, it's a tangible reminder that he is with us always. May Jesus’ resurrection be a reminder to us all, that even in our daily lives, he is able to bring restoration and healing to us right where we are. Oh, what joy and hope the resurrection brings each of us today!
Respond: This Easter, reflect on the goodness and holiness of the resurrection and how we experience moments of hope and resurrection in our daily life. Write down what Jesus’ resurrection means to you and how you cling to the hope he brings during difficult times in life.
- Faitth Brooks
Adult and Adults
Read: John 20:1-18
Reflect: It was still dark when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. She may not have slept well the night before and most likely felt numb with disbelief and grief from having been with the other women the day before at the crucifixion. Certainly, she wasn’t ready for what she found! The disciples she tells come and confirm what they all see then leave her there alone. She remains as a silent witness, weeping for her beloved friend and teacher. But then she hears her name called and she recognizes Jesus in another form she initially mistakes for the gardener. That is where we too are called on Easter morning. We are called to see Jesus anew. Called to deepen our personal love and relationship with him. And invited to be transformed by his love for us.
Respond: We are changed and transformed by death. When we look to nature we can see other examples of transformation and resurrection, especially in spring when Easter is celebrated. The colorful leaves that fell from the trees in fall, the browning plants that thrived in summer, make room for new buds that grow and bloom now. Invite a friend or loved one to take a walk outside with you. Or enjoy a walk alone. Walk at a pace that allows you to observe what your eyes see. Practice periods of silence together and know God in creation. Notice the shades of colors you see. Animals you spot. The way shadows dance if there is a breeze blowing. Look at the structures formed by trees and plants and see if fallen limbs have decay that supports unseen life. As you walk, inhale and notice whether you can smell newly blooming flowers. Remember to exhale, then after a little walking, do it a second time. Take a slow twirl with arms extended in a sign of gratitude and joy for the moment. Offer silent thanks for the gifts you receive.
- Jan Berry Schroeder
Download a printable copy of this week's devotions HERE.