Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Sunday

Christ has been raised from the dead.
“O death, where is your victory?”
O grave, where is your sting?”
Thanks be to God,
Who gives us the victory through our lord Jesus Christ.
(The Apostle Paul)

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Good morning FCCG family! Our Joys, Concerns and Announcements this week include:

  • Birthdays or anniversaries coming up this week: No birthdays or anniversaries coming up this week; let us know if we missed yours!

Introit ………………… Crown Him with Many Crowns
Performed by Mark Fenne and Karen Howard

CALL TO WORSHIP       
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!
The air is cool and somehow hesitant.  The black night sky gives way to the gray promise of the rising sun.  Feelings of longing, of belief, and of hope unite and surge with an unspeakable joy.  The gray gives way to pinks, oranges, and yellows as the sun slowly rises over the still shadowy trees. The sky deepens into blue, and birds rise into the air soaring toward the unknowable mystery.  People begin to gather.
Let everyone rejoice! Sing, choirs of angels!
Christ has passed from death to life!
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

OPENING HYMN …………………………………………….. #216 Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

PRAYER OF INVOCATION
Lord Jesus, we greet you, risen from the dead! They thought your way of love was a dead end: Now we see that it is the way to life.
They thought your life was wasted: Now we know that it was gloriously worthwhile.
They thought your suffering was pointless: Now we can see God’s purpose in it.
They thought that death was the end of you: Now we know that your life could not be ended by death.
Lord Jesus, we adore you, risen from the dead!

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Easter morning takes us by surprise, awakening us to the doubt and despair that have been rooted in our lives.
Let us confess our sin before God and one another, and may God have mercy.
May Christ have mercy.
May God have mercy.
If, at times, we deny you: God forgive us.
If, at times, when the risks of discipleship are high, we are nowhere to be found: God forgive us.
If, at times, we wash our hands of responsibility: God forgive us.
If, at times, we cast our lot with powerful oppressors: God forgive us.
If, at times, fear keeps us from witnessing to your truth, or prejudice keeps us from believing it: God forgive us.
In the bright light of Easter morning, our sin is exposed, but even more fully your grace is revealed.
Mighty God, we are bold to come before you and ask forgiveness.  Help us to leave behind our foolish doubt so that with joy we may witness to your mighty deeds in Jesus Christ, our risen savior.  Amen.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Hear now these words of assurance:
By God’s great mercy, we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  In the name of Jesus Christ, I say to you: Our sins are forgiven.  All things are made new. Doubt no more; Christ is with us always.  Alleluia!  Amen.

GLORY PATRI ………………………………………. #35

All readings are from the English Standard Version bible.

NEW TESTAMENT LESSON ……………………………………………………. Acts 10:34-43
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

EASTER AFFIRMATIONS 
Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch,
as you really are unleavened.
For our pascal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the festival,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I know that my redeemer lives!
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead,
will never die again;
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death he died, he died to sin, once for all;
but the life he lives he lives to God.
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin
and alive to God in Jesus Christ.
I know that my redeemer lives!
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have died.
For since death came through a human being,
the resurrection of the dead
has also come through a human being;
for as all die in Adam,
so all will be made alive in Christ.
I know that my redeemer lives!

EPISTLE LESSON ………………………………………….. I Corinthians 15:12-14, 17-23
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.              

HYMN ………………………………………………………… #230 Now The Green Blade Rises

GOSPEL LESSON ………………………………………………………………. John 20:1-18
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” —  and that he had said these things to her.

SERMON ……………………………………..…… Believe ……………..…………….. Rev. Rebecca

The Lord’s Prayer ………………………………………………………performed by Johnny Mathis

SPECIAL MUSIC …………. Our Hearts Rejoice This Day
performed by the FCCG Choir

TITHES AND OFFERINGS
God of empty tombs and empty hearts, fill us today with the joy of trusting and believing, that we might rise from the graves of misplaced loyalties to live with Christ and serve wherever good news is needed. May gladness flow through us to bring inspiration and hope to sisters and brothers locked in prisons of despair, that all of us might have the courage to love as you have loved us in Jesus Christ.
Thank you God, for the resurrection. Thank you for this day of celebration.  As we dedicate this offering, we rededicate ourselves anew to your son and our risen savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.  

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DOXOLOGY

CLOSING HYMN ………………………………………. In Christ Alone
Performed by Keith & Kristyn Getty and Alison Krauss

Benediction
May the Lord watch between me and thee, while we are apart one from the other, Amen.

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Please keep the following individuals in your prayers this week:

  • The family of Marilyn Cuscaden (death of Marilyn);
  • Jodi Holleran’s mom (illness);
  • Mercedes Nuss (illness);
  • Jess Reddy’s friend, Keeley (illness);
  • Sue Cechner’s friend, John (Illness);
  • Barb and Dick Sharp’s nephew’s daughter, Kenzie (illness);
  • Lisa Peterson (illness);
  • Lisa Peterson’s niece-in-law, Wendy (illness);
  • Linda Moran (illness);
  • Faith DiMaria’s brother, Steve, and family (illness);
  • The Connolly Family (lots of prayers);
  • Karen’s Cousin, Dwight, (Illness);
  • Sheree Womack’s dad, Frank (surgery);
  • Those affected by violence as well as those serving in the military;

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