Christ is risen! How can you doubt that, my friend?

See how the sun lifts the mist from the green hills?

Look at the multitude of trees with uplifted arms!

Listen to the massed choirs of robins and finches

pouring out their Hallelujahs!

Even the stream on its way to the sea

is singing a resurrection song.

 

Let me tell you something, my friend,

the death and resurrection story

is explanation, not transaction.

Christ not some kind of insurance salesperson

dealing in life policies where fulfillment

depends on our investment.  Oh, no!

That is much too small a view

of the abundant freedom offered

to us in those nail-marked hands.

 

It’s about LOVE, my friend. A cosmic LOVE

that cannot be measured by the human mind

but only be perceived dimly, darkly, gratefully,

by the hungry human heart.  Ultimately,

it’s all there is.  Jesus is this endless love.

 

If you still have doubts, my friend,

stand outside the empty tomb

and listen to the way Christ says your name.

—by Joy Cowley and Terry Coles

 

Prayer:

Gracious God of life, we see resurrection all around us:

butterflies emerging from cocoons, flowers bursting from bare branches,

new buildings arising from the rubble of the past destruction.

 Resurrection gives us hope.  Thank you.

 

But resurrection can also be difficult and painful. Resurrection means letting go of the old life while still

uncertain of what the new life will bring.

 

On this resurrection day, we remember those who are struggling to find resurrection,

those trying to escape cocoons of dependence, violence, or harmful behavior. 

Loving God, may the stone be rolled away, releasing them to new life.

 

We pray for those whose grief for their lost life blinds them to the possibility of resurrection.

Loving God, may the stone be rolled away, releasing them to new life. 

We pray for those whose time on earth is nearly done and who fear what lies ahead.

Loving God, may the stone be rolled away releasing them to new life.

 

God of life, thank you for resurrection, for Jesus’ new life offered to all,

for people of faith who spread the good news, for those who roll the stone away,

releasing people to new life.  May we do our part to roll away the stone.  Amen.