During our Easter worship gathering we focused on Mary Magdalene’s story from John 20. When you consider the cultural realities of Jesus’ day, it is pretty amazing that His first resurrection appearance was to a women. This narrative reinforces Jesus’ belief in and love of women and He elevates one of them as the first witness to the resurrection.
I love what Dave Buerstetta said about Mary:
“Mary is the first one at the empty tomb and the first one to whom the (not-quite-yet-completely) Resurrected Jesus reveals himself and the first evangelist for the Risen Lord, delivering Jesus’ message to his “brothers.” Mary Magdalene, the first Easter preacher!”
Two musical notes: if you are looking for a different musical setting of “Charles Wesley’s “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” you should check out Aaron Keyes‘ setting from the project “Love Divine: Songs of Charles Wesley.” The chord progression is fairly unique (when is the last time you vamped between a B and Em in the key of G), but it is worth a listen.
We closed our gathering with Matt Maher’s powerful anthem, “Christ is Risen.” Here’s what Matt said about the song:
“God really is a genius. He used death to destroy death. He did not even have to lift a finger. He literally tricked death into destroying itself. Jesus used the process of death to completely eradicate it. So now it just becomes a process of transformation, now it is a window or a doorway. Every Easter in the Ukraine, congregations chant the phrase, ‘Christ has risen from the dead trampling over death by death, and redeeming us from the grave’. I thought, ‘that is an amazing thought to sing. We should sing it in the west.'”
How did you celebrate the resurrection of Christ?
Here is our complete worship flow
- Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (Aaron Keyes version from Love Divine)
- Like a Lion (Daniel Bashta)
- Scripture Reading (John 20:1-1) and Prayer
- Second Chances (Rend Collective Experiment)
- Scripture Reading (John 20:11-18)
- Jesus Son of God (Chris Tomlin and Matt Maher)
- Announcements and Offering
- Message (I Have Seen the Lord)
- Christ is Risen (Matt Maher)
- Reprise: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
You can learn what other communities of faith experienced in worship this weekend at The Worship Community.