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“The last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matt. 20:16

Sunday, April 20

The Lord’s Day

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Minute for Mission: Resurrection of the Lord/Easter One Great Hour of Sharing

 

Jesus’ resurrection is a familiar story—one of new beginnings, eternal life, and everlasting love. How do we make this amazing yet familiar story new in our lives? As represented in Matthew, the two Marys visited Jesus’ tomb. After finding that his body was no longer there, they expected the worst. What they found instead was the most glorious discovery. Jesus resurrected! Jesus appeared to them—two marginalized women—and gave them the responsibility to share the exciting news of Jesus’ eternal life. Such a discovery would surely have changed their lives forever. Jesus sharing his new beginning must have given them new life and a deeper understanding of his love.

A friend of mine experienced an unexpected new beginning through his grandmother’s love and acceptance. My friend is gay. Coming out to his family was a scary and challenging process. They did not embrace him, nor did they celebrate his individuality. My friend had to face the reality that he was not what his parents wanted him to be. While learning to love how God made him was difficult enough in a world that so often preaches hate, it became even more difficult upon learning that his parents did not support him. One day my friend was talking with his grandmother and the conversation turned to his sexuality. He expected her to react similarly to his parents; however, just as the two Marys expected the worst and discovered something amazing, my friend’s grandma immediately embraced him just as he was, as if there were no other way to respond. His grandma’s love surprised him and gave him new strength.

Jesus cherished marginalized peoples and gave new life through his resurrection and everlasting love. How can we enter a new beginning this Easter season? How can we better follow Christ and open our heart by embracing others?

—Abbi Heimach, student, McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago

Let us pray

Loving God, you who gave us eternal life, you who shares the power of your love through others, you who amaze us when we expect the worst, help us love. You taught us to love, and we can do better. Please help us. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Acts 10:34–43
“There Is a Balm in Gilead”
PH 394
or
Jer. 31:1–6
“The Desert Shall Rejoice”
PH 18

Ps. 118:1–2, 14–24
“Psalm 118:14–24”
PH 231

Col. 3:1–4 or Acts 10:34–43
“O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing!”
PH 116, 117

John 20:1–18
“The Strife Is O’er”
HB 203, PH 119
or
Matt. 28:1–10
“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!”
HB 204, PH 113

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 93; 150
First Reading Exodus 12:1-14
Second Reading John 1:1-18
Gospel Reading Luke 24:13-35
Evening Psalms 136; 117

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