Christ is risen!

Alleluia!

The Lord is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Mōrena, and welcome to Papanui@Home! We thank God that by his Spirit, we the body of Christ are being united to one another even now as we worship this morning in separate places.

  • The YouTube playlist of videos can be found here (click the link)

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Adoration

Living God,

we worship you today with joy in our hearts

and thanksgiving on our lips.

When the powers of evil had done their worst,

crucifying your son, and burying him in death,

you raised him to life again:

an act of power giving hope to the world.

Lord Jesus,

we rejoice that death could not keep you in its grip;

that you were raised to life, alive for evermore.

You greeted your friends

and now you stand amongst us in your risen power.

Spirit of God,

you are always giving life to the people of God,

giving birth to children of God.

Remodel us in the image of Jesus,

fill us with his love

and enable us with his risen power,

that we might be faithful to his way,

used by you in the redeeming of your world.

Song: “Your Great Mercy” by Bazi Baker (an Easter Camp favourite!)

VERSE 1

My soul can sing a joyful song.

My debt is paid, my guilt is gone

Because of grace my heart is free,

I live because of mercy

VERSE 2

Should I in weakness sin again,

I’ll never have to bear the shame

My God, my Saviour died for me,

I live because of mercy

CHORUS

Your great mercy, lifting me up from shame

Your great mercy, breaking my every chain

Your great mercy, flooding my soul with peace

Your great mercy has rescued me

VERSE 3

I’ll lift my hands and shout Your name,

I’ll dance for joy to bring You praise

My chains no longer binding me,

I live because of mercy

We invite you to remember our young people in prayer, asking God’s Spirit to continue to speak to the youth of Papanui and across Aotearoa about the significance of Jesus, his message, and his church.

Petition

When we are despairing;

when the world is full of grief;

when we see no way ahead,

and hope has gone away:

Roll back the stone.

Although we fear change;

although we are not ready;

although we’d rather weep

and run away:

Roll back the stone.

Because we’re coming with the women;

because we hope where hope is vain:

because you call us from the grave

and show the way:

Roll back the stone.

Offering

Papanui Baptist Church relies on the generosity of its people to meet our budget. To those who are able, we invite you to make your donations straight to our bank account, whether by online banking, phone banking, or making a personal deposit.

Account name: Papanui Baptist Church

Account number: 03-0854-0651093-00

Reference: Your name

Code: Envelop number (not essential)

Please join us in giving thanks to God for the offering.

Scripture reading by Jon (Elder)

Jon reads Matthew 28:1-10. Click here for video.

Devotion by Elliot: “When did you get saved?” (video here)

There’s a story of an American evangelist who, as part of his evangelistic strategy, would go up to people in airports in a bolshy manner and ask them, “When did you get saved?” He’d assumed that they were not really “saved” and he would then tell them how to become so. On one particular day, he went up to a man and asked him this stock standard question, “When did you get saved?” Somewhat startled by his abrupt approach, the man responded by saying, “Two thousand years ago, but I only found out about it recently.”

It’s easy for us to pay attention to the life-changing decision for Jesus, and to forget the world-changing moment in which that salvation was won, when Christ was raised! When did you find out about it? The Gospel of John narrates four occasions when people found out, first with Mary Magdalene, then on three separate occasions with the disciples in John 20 and 21. All four appearances follow a similar pattern.

1.    Time & Setting

First, there’s a description of the time and setting of the appearance. For Mary, it was early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, outside the tomb. For the disciples, it was on the evening of that first day of the week, when they were together, with the doors locked. A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. The third appearance to the disciples took place by the Sea of Galilee after a night of fishing.

Where were you when you found out about your salvation? When did Jesus first appear to you? He comes to us today—two and a half weeks into lockdown, here in our homes, where the doors are locked.

2.    Their lack

Having described the setting, each story describes the disciples’ lack, their experience of loss, fear, and failure. Mary stood outside the tomb crying. The disciples had the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders. Thomas said he wouldn’t believe unless he saw, and again, the doors were locked. Peter and his fishing buddies fished all night, and they caught nothing.

Today our loss is more obvious than usual. Our teenagers aren’t at Easter Camp; we’re not together in our blue building singing “Happy Day”; instead we’re cabin-fevered and bored, shopping trips are fearful, and the world’s a mess. Jesus appears to those who lack.

3.    Jesus appears

And here’s the good news: Jesus appears—he who was dead and buried in the most public execution now meets them, personal and private. Mary turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” To the disciples, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace by with you!” Then again, with Thomas among them, though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” And to the wary fishermen, Jesus stood on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.

Did you recognize him when Jesus first appeared to you? Or was it only in hindsight that you realized he’d been there all along? He comes to us today.

4.    Jesus reveals himself

And to people struggling to see him, Jesus reveals himself. Jesus spoke her name: “Mary”; one word, and the scales fell from her eyes. To the disciples he showed his hands and side. To Thomas he said, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” And to the fishermen he said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

When did sight become faith for you? You were saved the day Jesus walked out of that tomb; when did you hear about it? Do you remember how Jesus transformed before your eyes, and you saw not just a moral teacher, not just a good man, but Jesus the Son of God? “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Stop doubting and believe!

5.    Response of joy

And to those who have seen and believed, there can only be a response of sheer joy! Mary turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” “Teacher!” The disciples were overjoyed! Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” And best of all, as soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It’s the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water!

Christ is risen!

Alleluia!

The Lord is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Those words can’t be said matter-of-factly—they have to be declared with eyes lighting, dimples forming, body-moving joy! Our Lord is raised from the dead; our Lover has come back to us to claim us! He’s given us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair!

6.    Jesus teaches and feeds them

Finally, after each glad encounter, Jesus goes on the teach his friends. He reminds Mary that he is still yet to ascend to the Father; he sends the disciples out with the message of forgiveness in the power of the Spirit just as he himself had been sent by his Father to forgive sins; with Thomas Jesus blesses those who haven’t seen and yet have believed. Jesus speaks words of life—resurrection life. What’s he saying to you? His Word sustains us in all seasons.

Then, on the beach with the fishermen, instead of teaching them, Jesus feeds them: “Come, have breakfast.” Like manna in the desert, like bread and fish shared out among thousands who forgot their lunch, Jesus is the bread of life: “Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

The meal on the beach feels suspiciously like the Lord’s Supper: Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. It’s appropriate, then, that we invite you now to share Communion with Jesus together.

Christ has died,

Christ is risen,

Christ will come again.

The Lord’s Supper

Risen Christ,

you walked with friends

and explained the scriptures.

Warm our hearts

with your living word.

Lord Jesus Christ,

be known to us in the breaking of bread.

Risen Christ,

you were a guest in the home of disciples,

In this fellowship, be our guest,

and transform our life together

with you living presence.

Lord Jesus Christ,

be known to us in the breaking of bread.

You blessed bread and broke it,

recognised by those who knew you.

Feed us with your living bread

that we might live as witnesses to your risen life.

Lord Jesus Christ,

be known to us in the breaking of bread.

Pass the peace!

Normally we finish our gatherings by spending time with each other over a cuppa. We encourage you to take the time now to call one or two others and connect.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Amen.