(Portions of these prayers are adapted from the Easter Liturgy in the Moravian Book of Worship. Used by permission of the IBOC)
The watchword for the week:
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1
The Lord is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed!
Hail all hail victorious Lord and Savior
You have burst the bonds of death.
Joyful, we with one accord
Hail you as our risen Lord.
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
14 The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By God’s great mercy we are given new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.
Praise, honor, glory, and power to the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!
Jesus was handed over to death for our sins,
And was raised to new life for our justification.
Then what can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or hardship? Can persecution, hunger, nakedness, peril, or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ, who loved us.
For we are convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor powers, nor heights, nor depths, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage. If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read today’s texts now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to. So read slowly and deliberately. Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world. May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:
As you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
What we are saying brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
Nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
What is sown as perishable,
Is raised imperishable;
What is sown in dishonor,
Is raised in glory:
What is sown in weakness,
Is raised in power;
What is sown a physical body,
Is raised a spiritual body.
Then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
Make us complete in everything good so that we may do your will, working among us all that is pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.