april 12th – resurrection sunday

Good morning, Emmanuel.  Welcome to our Easter Sunday service.
Christ is Risen; He is Risen indeed!

For many of us, today may well be the most difficult days of this pandemic-induced isolation thus far. As I write this on Friday, there is a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes! Not being to gather on Easter Sunday as a church family, not being able to experience the transition from the darkness of Good Friday’s service to the brightness and beauty of Easter Sunday’s, not being able to witness whatever platform transformation Rob and Kari had conjured up to enhance our Easter celebration, not being able to join with the Worship Collective in exuberant, joyful, singing – all of that adds an additional layer of grief to this already difficult season. Each missed gathering this past week was a deep loss, and today’s is even more so.

And yet, in the midst of all of our sadness and grief, we rejoice, because Jesus is Risen; He is Risen indeed! And he is with us in all that we are experiencing at this time. He is our hope and our peace and our joy!  

As I remind us every week, we gather to imagine what our lives could be like because Jesus is Lord and we believe he is at work in the world making all things new.  Surrounded as we are with anxieties and concerns, we gather to be reminded of who Jesus is, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, of who we are as his beloved children, and who together we can be as a community seeking his kingdom and pursuing his righteousness and justice in the world.   Whatever space we find ourselves in, mentally, emotionally and physically, spiritually, I pray that as we pause to attend to the presence of Jesus with us and among us, as we celebrate his Resurrection in this way, that he will graciously meet us there and breathe his peace upon us and infuse us with his love and joy.


I am grateful for all of the ways I hear we are connecting, even as we practice physical distancing.   I want to encourage us to continue to do so, whether one-on-one, in small clusters, or larger groups.  May we take advantage of the technology we have to reach out to others and check in with them, to see how they are doing and share how we are doing.  Share what you are learning about God and yourself in this time; share what’s been giving you hope or bringing you joy in the midst of the challenges we are facing; pray with each other and for each other.  I pray that in this season of physical distancing we may experience a spiritual drawing together as a church family, that we will create space for others in our lives, and find creative ways to encourage each other in this life we share together in Jesus.


Our Zoom prayer gatherings continue this week, Monday-Friday, 7:15, 12:15, 9:15, for half an hour each time.  Please consider joining us for one of those times online, or on your own in your home. For details, please check the weekly email that Jan sends out on Monday, or send me an email, bgibson@ebap.ca.


For Sunday morning folks, we’ve created a “Stories of Grace” page on our website.  Please use it to share a story to encourage us, a prayer request, or an answer to prayer.  Currently there’s one lonely encouraging story.  Please check it our and alleviate its loneliness by adding to it.  And please remember to check out the weekly bulletin at the website for prayer concerns and other information abut our church family.


And finally, thank you for continuing to support the work that God has called us to do as a church family.  As I have noted in recent emails, you can give online by going to our website or you can drop off your offering envelope in the church mailbox at the front entrance of our facility.  If you’d rather not go out during this time and would like it to be picked up, please contact the office and we will make arrangements to have it picked up safely.


May God grant us much grace as we look to him through this current crisis. May he strengthen our hearts and encourage our spirits as we trust in him.  May he help us to practice faith and not fear; hope and not despair; love and not hate or indifference.


Christ is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!
Brendon Gibson

(click here for audio link)

Conceived through a lie, given birth from sin,
    the weight of Death is ever present.
Though we hide from it, run from it
    deny it, repress it,
Death is an unshakeable companion,
     an architect of entropy and collapse.
Though friendless by nature,
     Death keeps company with hopelessness and despair.
Its suffering seen in the eyes of orphans and widows,
     its misery found in fracture and decay.
Story told and fate penned, like a tattooed seal,
      this wretched mark so inked upon creations’ soul.
The sun will rise, the sun will rise
bringing life to the earth as it springs from the ground
The sun will rise, the sun will rise
Won’t you dry all your tears, lay your burden down
Won’t you dry all your tears lay your burden down
But then, in a divine flash, the status is upended. 


For on the third day, in the pale glow of dawn,
      a fatal wound fashions rebirth as Death itself dies.
In the dissipating vapor
     the closed system breaks open,
Life steps from grave,
     the rewrite is rewritten.


Christ is risen and Christ is alive,
     Now Death, even you must bow.
For though your work is destruction,
     you have lost your power.
Though your icy fingers clutch and grab,
    your grip has lost its strength.
Though you wish to rule
     your throne is no more.
Death you have been swallowed up in victory


Christ is risen and Christ is here.
Thanks be to God!


The sun will rise, the sun will rise
bringing life to the earth as it springs from the ground
The sun will rise, the sun will rise
Won’t you dry all your tears, lay your burden down
Won’t you dry all your tears lay your burden down
The day after the Sabbath day was the first day of the week. At dawn on the first day, Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary went to look at the tomb.


At that time there was a strong earthquake. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven, went to the tomb, and rolled the stone away from the entrance. Then he sat on the stone. He was shining as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The soldiers guarding the tomb shook with fear because of the angel, and they became like dead men.


Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die.”


The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, who has been crucified. He is not here. He has risen from the dead as he said he would. Come and see the place where his body was. And go quickly and tell his followers, ‘Jesus has risen from the dead. He is going into Galilee ahead of you, and you will see him there.’” Then the angel said, “Now I have told you.”
Praise be to our heavenly Father, for he has given us a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.


The women left the tomb quickly. They were afraid, but they were also very happy. They ran to tell the disciples what had happened.  Suddenly, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings.” The women came up to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my followers to go on to Galilee, and they will see me there.”
In the half-light of dawn, in a graveyard, it might have been tempting to believe that their eyes were playing tricks.  But the body the women had come to anoint was indeed gone, and the proclamation rang out through the eeriness and emptiness of the place:  “He has risen.”


Mary Magdalene and the other Mary fled from the tomb with fear and great joy.  The women were bursting to tell the news, and yet they were afraid of what had been revealed first to them.


Before they ever reached the others, they encountered their risen Lord.  He greeted them and then offered the words of reassurance they most needed to hear:  “Do not be afraid.”


There is much around us that is heavy and awful.  We know too well of the brokenness and suffering that plagues our world.  Things that bring us fear, things that destroy our hope and things that seal off our joy.


But there is a risen Lord!


Mary Magdalene invites us to love Jesus and to believe in the power of his resurrection. 


With God’s help, may we too have the same spirit that dwelt within our sister, the first witness of the resurrection!
Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
The Lord is risen!
He is risen indeed!
The sun will rise, the sun will rise
bringing life to the earth as it springs from the ground
The sun will rise, the sun will rise
Won’t you dry all your tears, lay your burden down
Won’t you dry all your tears lay your burden down
Rob Priestley
John Arndt & David Gungor
Matthew 28:1-10, John 11:25, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 Corinthians 15:55
Joyce Hollyday

Let us pray together:
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 forevermore.
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.
Baptist Union of Great Britain

On the coldest, darkest night, when you have nearly given up and cannot believe you will make it until morning, the faintest light appears on the horizon. From the ash piles of the cold, dead flames, one tiny ember is taken by a breath of wind and blown into a spark. Deep within the still, frozen ground lies an unseen seed which begins to look not quite so dead as it once did. The woman crying out in agony after hour upon hour of painful labour heeds her midwife’s reminder that when you believe you cannot labour any longer, your body is signalling that your labours are nearly complete.

Since the very first dawning, winter has always, always been made alive by spring. There has never ever been a night so long that it was not awakened by the stirrings of morning. When we look honestly around ourselves, we find that in nature, the seeds of death lie inevitably within life – but just as certainly, life resides buried within the grip of death.

Death, with all its loss and grief, created the soil, the womb for life to seed, to take root, to thrive and flourish. Each day, my family and I live because something once alive transferred its energy into our own bodies. And someday, our own bodies will break back down into the dust, providing for whatever life comes after us. On this carefully, lovingly fashioned earth, death and life are not two separate beings but are instead two sides of the same coin.

These cycles of life and death, of day and night, are so true, so constant; they repeat themselves again and again, and they speak of the Creator who founded and sustains them.

But there is more.

This Creator came and joined in the dance of birth, life, pain, joy, and death. He came not into mythology but into a country, a culture, a family. He came to us in the same way we come to each other – born as a baby conceived in a woman’s womb, formed in her uterus, traveling through her birth canal. Thirty-some years later, the Creator left the same way we all leave – suffering, his body broken, death.

Then, mystery of mysteries, he carried this cycle one step further than we have yet traveled or seen on our own: from life to death to newly resurrected life. Death could not hold the Giver of Life: It burst open, defeated and destroyed. Jesus emerged the victor, the first fruits of a new creation – one that does not follow the pattern we have so carefully committed to memory. This new creation is entirely bewitching, disorientating, and we can hardly imagine it: an inheritance kept safe for us which cannot perish, spoil, or fade. Jesus is the first triumphant herald of eternal spring. He is the promise of shalom, of a world made new.

And so, we insist that death is not the finale: Life will have the final word. Today, sleep always follows waking, just as waking always follows sleep – but one day, we will wake eternally. Death and decay are one stop on the ever-circling wheel, but our Creator does not intend to keep repeating this cycle into eternity. Just as he is the Alpha, so is he the Omega. Having set the world in motion, he will bring it to an end, to its telos. To redemption. And like a seed split open in the ground, this end will not be termination, but an eruption of life, of beauty, of future.


Catherine McNiel


Sweet Jesus Christ my sanity    
sweet Jesus Christ my clarity
Bread of heaven broken for me    
Cup of Salvation held out to drink
Jesus mystery


Christ has died and
     Christ is risen
Christ will come again


Celebrate His death and rising
     lift your eyes proclaim His coming
Celebrate His death and rising
     lift your eyes lift your eyes


Christ has died and
     Christ is risen
Christ will come again

Charlie Hall

Let us pray together:


God of life,
forgive our denial of life,
our destruction of its hopes,
our denial of its needs,
our distorting of its possibilities.


Fill us with your Spirit of life,
that we might be people of life,
servants of life,
     encouragers of life,
   signs of Christ, the life of the world;
in his name we pray.


Baptist Union of Great Britain


The Resurrection is the movement from death to life.  It is God’s future showing itself to us in the present.
Jesus is alive, his Spirit working as a transforming presence in our world.
But there are moments when our hearts go awry, our heads ache, and our spirits grieve. We fumble and struggle to believe; we are filled with disenchantment and frustration.  In silence we go through motions, afraid to say what we feel. 
But resurrection says speak out loud!
Resurrection is not threatened by our doubts or disappointment.  It gives us permission to voice our questions and disillusionment. It is not afraid to meet the brokenness of death. 
Resurrection says, ‘This is not the end.’  The rebirth of Jesus breathes new life into creation.


So whatever feels like it’s drowning you, whatever seems like a weight dragging you down, whatever is holding you back…these things do not have the last word. Resurrection brings the healing and restoration of wounded and broken relationships. 


Through Christ in us, there is an ongoing resurrection from violence to peace, from fear to faith, from hostility to love, and from consumption to stewardship and generosity. 
The Resurrection is not simply the resuscitation of Jesus; it is the beginning of the transformation of the world.


Rowan Williams
Brian Mclaren
Rob Priestley


In so many ways the tomb acts as the ultimate rut.  It defines impossibility, and so often we believe in its definition.  Death is the absolute absolute—we live subservient to its power.  We breathe death in and it clogs our lungs, we breathe death out and it pollutes the world with its corrosive power. 
Jesus died and was put in a tomb. The following morning the women went to the tomb to prepare his body with spices and ointments for burial. However when they arrived they found the stone rolled away.
The ultimate container of death was opened.  The woman went to the tomb thinking they knew what they are doing, thinking they knew what to expect, but they were met with a challenge from two men in gleaming apparel who asked, “Why do you look for the living among dead?’  It’s a big question. 
It’s a big question for us. Why do we look for the living, look for life, security, righteousness, happiness, cues for how to walk and  talk and act and be—why do we ever look for this among the dead?  Why do we try to get this from that which has no life?  Why do we look to form our identities by grasping at concepts and images and fixations that have no life?


When the stone was rolled away and the tomb was found empty, the apparently absolute, absolute is shown not to be the definitive power after all.  What seemed to be forever fixed is unfixed.  The captives are set free. 


What does it mean for the resurrection to be make us alive again?  It is to have our imaginations transformed, to slowly and surely realize that there is no limit, none at all, to the love of God.  Resurrection breaks in, opens us up, and frees us.  Resurrection reminds us that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God, not life, or death, or power, or principalities, not now or ever.  And that is genuinely good news!

Debbie Blue


Let us give abundant thanks and praise to God as we celebrate this day true light and life, wherein death was conquered and Christ arose from the dead.  Let us live alive in the hope, victory and power of the resurrection.  The Lord is risen!  He is risen indeed!


Let no one caught in sin remain    
     inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
     and run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
     freely You bled for us


Christ is risen from the dead
     trampling over death by death
Come awake come awake
     come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
     we are one with Him again
Come awake come awake
     come and rise up from the grave


Beneath the weight of all our sin
     You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell no scoffer’s crown
     no burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
     forever let Your church proclaim
Christ is risen from the dead
     trampling over death by death
Come awake come awake
     come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
     we are one with Him again
Come awake come awake
     come and rise up from the grave


O death where is your sting
     O hell where is your victory
O church come stand in the light
     the glory of God has defeated the night
Singing O death where is your sting
     O hell where is your victory
O church come stand in the light
     our God is not dead He’s alive He’s alive


Christ is risen from the dead
     trampling over death by death
Come awake come awake
     come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
     we are one with Him again
Come awake come awake
     come and rise up from the grave
Matt Maher
Mia Fieldes



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