“Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present…Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven.”(Surprised by Hope, NT Wright)
Yesterday we concluded our series, “Marks of a Missional Community” by exploring hope. In summary: a missional community is a community of hope. And hope has a name – Jesus.
Let me share one aspect of our liturgy that I felt was particularly potent. We put together a number of elements around Matt Maher’s song, “Christ is Risen.” We began with a reading from 1 Corinthians 15: and then after the second verse and chorus of the song, a worship leader read a portion of the Easter Homily by St. John Chrysostom. Powerful words of victory:
Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hell when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
Hell took earth, and encountered Heaven.
Hell took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?
Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!
Here is our complete worship flow:
- Song of Hope (Robbie Seay Band)
- Video: Hope Is Here (Floodgate Productions)
- He Is Risen (Paul Baloche)
- Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
- Christ Is Risen (Matt Maher)
- Announcements and Offering
- Message (A Community of Hope)
- Mighty to Save (Hillsong)
You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this past weekend in worship at The Worship Community.