Easter Family Service (2011)
How are you feeling right now? Are you worried that you might not find an Easter egg? Are you tired after a long week’s school holiday? Are you feeling guilty you didn’t make Mum her breakfast this morning? Are you pleased that you found a parking space and made it here on time? Are you a little nervous because this is your first time in Church? Are you joyful because its Easter Sunday and Jesus is alive? Feelings can have a powerful hold on us.
The way we feel can change the way we look, talk and act. The friends of Jesus had similar feelings after he died on the cross. His friends took his body and laid it in a cave. They were very sad. But their world was turned upside down three days later when they met the risen Jesus. Jesus was alive! What did this mean? Because Jesus rose from the dead four things he had said earlier must now be true. Here are some clues.
1. Jesus is the SON OF GOD. Because dead people don’t rise from the dead. He is both God and man in the same person (Rom. 1:4).
2. Jesus is our REDEEMER. Because he rose from the dead we can be sure his death was good enough to pay the price for our sin. He was right when he said he was the only way to God (John 14:6).
3. Jesus is our LORD Because he now rules over heaven and earth. We must obey him and do what he says (Matthew 28:18).
4. Jesus is our FRIEND. He died and rose again so that we too can live for ever with him. (John 15:14)
Lets think about some of Jesus friends and how they felt before and after meeting the risen Jesus. Who was the first person to meet Jesus?
Mary Magdalene. She went to the tomb to anoint Jesus body. Finding the tomb empty she wept. She didn’t recognise Jesus until he called out her name Mary. Immediately her tears were turned to joy. “I have seen the Lord!” she told the disciples.
What about Peter? How did he feel? When Jesus was on trail what had Peter done? Peter disowned Jesus. But when they met the risen Jesus by the Sea of Galilee, what did Jesus say to Peter? “Do you truly love me?” Peter was sorry and Jesus forgave him. Later, Peter wrote about it. (1 Peter 3:15).
What about Thomas? Thomas had not been with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared. When they told him, Thomas doubted. So Jesus came back a another time, just for Thomas. When Jesus showed Thomas his hands and his feet he cried, “My Lord and my God”. Thomas worshipped Jesus. Jesus said “Blessed are those who have not seen.” (John 20:29).
On another occasion Jesus met with all his friends. Many were afraid but Jesus said, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19) Jesus gave all his friends a new purpose in life. “Go and tell everyone about me. Make me lots more friends. Tell them everything that I have told you: How God wants to rescue them and make them feel safe.” (Matthew 28:18-20). And because they did, we are here today making more friends for Jesus.
Lets sum up what we have learnt about Jesus from his friends. Jesus is the Son of God He is our Redeemer, Lord and Friend. How has the story of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus changed your life? Whether you are already a friend of Jesus, or want to become one this Easter, we invite you to respond.
We invite you to express your desire to be a member of his family here at Christ Church. So that no one feels embarrassed lets all stand. Then silently, please respond in which ever way you feel appropriate. .f you want to become a friend of Jesus, I invite you to join me in this prayer.
I believe you died and rose again.
Thank you for dying in my place,
to take away my sin.
Thank you for giving me the gift of eternal life.
Thank you for wanting me to be your friend.
Help me to know you better and serve you for the rest of my life. In Jesus name. Amen.
If you already a friend of Jesus, please join me in renewing our commitment to follow Jesus and serve one another for the year ahead, using this Anglican declaration.
Christ Church Membership
By God’s Grace, and with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, I will endeavour
To follow the example of Christ in home and daily life, and to bear personal witness to Him.
To be regular in private prayer day by day.
To read the Bible carefully.
To come to Church every Sunday.
To receive the Holy Communion faithfully and regularly.
To give personal service to Church, neighbours, and community.
To give money for the work of parish and diocese and for the work of the Church at home and overseas.
To uphold the standard of marriage entrusted by Christ to His Church.
To care that children are brought up to love and serve the Lord.
By God’s Grace, this is my desire for the coming year.
If you wish to be recognised as a member of Christ Church, please add your name and the date and return the copy of this membership form to the Church Office. We recommend you keep this leaflet in your Bible as a reminder of your membership commitment.