Jesus is Risen from the Dead—Hallelujah!

Scripture Readings

Acts 2:22–43

‘You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him,

Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

“I saw the Lord always before me,
 for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
 moreover, my flesh will live in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
 or let your Holy One experience corruption.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
 you will make me full of gladness with your presence.”

‘Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,

“He was not abandoned to Hades,
 nor did his flesh experience corruption.”

This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

“The Lord said to my Lord,
‘Sit at my right hand,
 until I make your enemies your footstool.’”

Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’

The First Converts

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’ And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Life among the Believers

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.

Psalm 16

Song of Trust and Security in God

A Miktam of David.

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
 I have no good apart from you.’

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
 in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
 their drink–offerings of blood I will not pour out
 or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
 you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
 I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
 in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
 because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
 my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
 or let your faithful one see the Pit.

You show me the path of life.
 In your presence there is fullness of joy;
 in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

I Corinthians 15:1–19

The Resurrection of Christ

Now I should remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

The Resurrection of the Dead

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

St. Matthew 28:1–20

The Resurrection of Jesus

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’

The Report of the Guard

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, ‘You must say, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.” If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.

The Commissioning of the Disciples

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

Prayers

Opening Prayer

God our Father, by raising Christ Your Son, You conquered the power of death and opened for us the way to eternal life. Let our celebration renew our lives by the Spirit which is within us. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.


Great Thanksgiving Prayer

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Almighty and Eternal Father. And on this night of our redemption, through Your only begotten Son's death and resurrection, we celebrate with joyful hearts the eternal love You have shown us sinners.

This is the night of nights
Reminding us of our forefathers
Children of Israel
Were redeemed from slavery
By the Blood of the Lamb
And you parted the Red Sea,
For them to walk on dry land.
This is the night that a pillar of fire
Banished the darkness of sin.
This is the night
When Jeus Christ
Broke the bars of death
And rose victorious from the grave.
This is the blessed and glorious night
Of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
When things of heaven are joined to those
Of earth, and the divine to the human.

And so, in great joy of resurrection, as earth and heaven resound with gladness, we too join our voices with angels and archangels and with all the company of heavent to proclaim: They shout and say.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,
heaven and earth are full of His glory,
hosanna in the highest;
blessed is He who has come,
and is to come
in the name of the Lord,
hosanna in the highest.


Post Communion Prayer

O God of Life, who, for our redemption, gave Your only begotten Son to death on the Cross, and by His glorious resurrection, You have delivered us from the power of our enemy. Help us now to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with Him in the joy of His risen life through Jesus Christ, our Lord Amen.


Prayer Focus

Among the many predators on earth, the mosquito sits atop the list of world’s deadliest creatures. 1 Diseases transmitted by mosquitos, such as malaria, cause 700,000 deaths each year. 2 Though the mosquito is small in size, such statistics have earned this insect its own place on the calendar—World Mosquito Day on August 20—when various organizations raise awareness of its deadly impact.

It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to transmit a potentially deadly disease, with miserable symptoms such as fever, aches, rash, vomiting and weakness. A simple mosquito net is one of the cheapest and most effective means of prevention. It can protect a person from the harmful sting of an infected mosquito and help them have a restful night’s sleep.

Please join us in praying this month for those in danger of vector-borne diseases like malaria.

Please pray with us


1Medicines for Malaria Venture. “World Mosquito Day 2020.” 20 August 2020. . https://www.mmv.org/newsroom/image-slideshows/world-mosquito-day-2020

2Mains, Karen Burton. “Winning the Ancient Conflict Between Man and Mosquito.” GFA World. 14 August 2020. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/it-takes-only-one-mosquito

The Lord is Risen indeed—Hallelujah!


Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Art: JMeiere, M. Hildreth, -1961. Mosaic of the Resurrection, detail, from Art in the Christian Tradition a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55307 [retrieved March 23, 2018]. Original source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurapadgett/2533189887/.

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