Gathering and Praise

Have everyone focus their minds and their hearts on worshiping God. 

Have someone read these words.

Matthew 28:1-9 (NIV)

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, 

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.


There was a violent earthquake, 

for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, 

going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 

His appearance was like lightning, 

and his clothes were white as snow. 

The guards were so afraid of him

that they shook and became like dead men.


The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, 

for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. 

Come and see the place where he lay. 

Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 

‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.

There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”


So the women hurried away from the tomb, 

afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 

Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. 

They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.


Have everyone say these words together:

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…


Have each person explain which of these things they are most thankful for: 

Because Jesus rose…

• my sins are completely forgiven and God accepts me as a righteous person.

• he has raised me up as a new person, helping me live a new life of obedience to God.

• he has promised me eternal life in a glorified body like his.


Confession

Have someone lead everyone in prayer:

Almighty God, you have raised Jesus from the grave

and crowned him Lord of all.

We confess that we have not bowed before him

or acknowledged his rule in our lives.

We have gone along with the way of the world

and failed to give him glory.

Forgive us and raise us from sin,

that we may be your faithful people,

obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who rules the world and is head of the church, his body.

Amen.


Have someone read this. (This is a good reading for beginning readers.)

Romans 6:3-5 (NIrV)

All of us were baptized into Christ Jesus.

Don’t you know that we were baptized into his death?

By being baptized, we were buried with Christ into his death.

Christ has been raised from the dead by the Father’s glory.

And like Christ we also can live a new life.

By being baptized, we have been joined with him in his death.

We will certainly also be joined with him in his resurrection.


Talk about what each of you can do in thankfulness to God for the resurrection of Jesus.


You can contribute to the ministry of the church online Give Now or by mailing a check to PO Box 9339, Fresno, CA, 93791. Our special offering for April is World Renew (formerly CRWRC) the CRC’s disaster response and community development agency.


Teaching

Sending

Here are some prayer requests we shared this week during our devotions Monday and Wednesday evenings:

• Hospital workers and those who are sick.

• People who are at risk of contracting covid: Bob D’s brother Pete who has had close contact, Pastor Nick’s grandmother Ruth, who lives in a home with active cases, and others.

• People who need medical care. This week, add the following prayer requests: Trudy L, who needs a lung biopsy; Bob D’s cousin Jane, who is in advanced cancer; Matt S's friend’s mother who was treated for cancer and had complications; Joyce P who is suffering with a metastasized cancer.

• People who have lost their jobs or some of their income.

• People who need comfort: The family of Jan D’s sister-in-law, who has died on the anniversary of her husband’s death.


Share other prayer requests and have someone write them down.


Have someone pray for the things you have written down.


If you haven’t already, take a photo of yourself or your family with any kind of flower and send it to the church—text/email it to Pastor Nick or send it via social media—for our collage.


Plan to listen to some of your favorite Easter songs and sing along today. You can find a playlist of some songs  and a recording of last year's Easter worship at fresnocrc.org/worship. Search YouTube for some of your other favorites.


Have someone read these words:

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV)

Now may the God of peace,

who through the blood of the eternal covenant

brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus,

that great Shepherd of the sheep,

equip you with everything good for doing his will,

and may he work in us what is pleasing to him,

through Jesus Christ,

to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen.