16 April 2017

posted 14 Apr 2017, 23:04 by C S Paul

16 April 2017

Scripture reading and Sermon

Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Easter Sunday

Mark 16:1-8New King James Version (NKJV)

He Is Risen

16 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 

Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 

And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 

And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 

But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Devotional Thoughts for Easter - (Holy Pascha, Kyamtho)

by H.G Yakob Mar Irenaios

HE IS RISEN! Gleams at Easter Morn

Easter or `Kyamtho' marking the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the celebration of life over death, good over evil and hope over the ruinous clouds of disappointment. It seems as though the entire flow of history had been pointing to and waiting for the grand events of far reaching consequences for the whole creation ? the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Usually young children (and some older ones too!) are confused over this issue; why was a decent, sincere and sinless man, who only wanted to serve others, put to death through violent `death-engine' of the cross. Was it that the Jews were so senseless and, and were more cruel than their fellow beings else where? The fact of the matter is that evil is always up in arms against the gleams of good and will continue to be so. This is the ever current situation in individuals, communities and social institutions. No one could be spared from this! The cruelty of Jews could as well be the story of any people of any age and clime. It is fruitful to listen to the explanation offered by theologians that all humans of all generations are responsible for the cruelty that is exposed through Jews.

People may be remorseful of their role in this cruelty, yet the fact lingers that humans are generally not much concerned about the terrible consequences of sin and disorder that mar the integrity and freedom of creation. They are not generally disturbed about the unjust structures, exploitation of man and nature and the pollution of the environment and the human mind. The sins of humanity had reached such enormous proportions that only a divine intervention could save the situation. The divine scheme of redemption was not an after thought following the Fall of man. Instead provision was made in the divine mind for such a terrible emergency even before the beginning of the world.

The great salvation is freely granted to us by God, at the expense of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. Because of this we need to be grateful to God for enabling us, unworthy humans, to share in the great victory and salvation won for us by Jesus Christ. It is this sense of gratitude that gives a new momentum, sense of direction and meaning to our lives.

Easter is as well the feast of reconciliation ? between God and man, between man and man and also between man and nature.

Ultimately, there is light at the end of this smoke filled tunnel; and `hope springs eternal in human breast'. It is the hope of new vision and new dedication for a cause that is convincing and thus it points to transformed relationships. Life makes sense where it is selfless and service oriented where unjust structures are demolished. Easter tells us that death is not a dead end, but a portal leading to something better and brighter. The resurrection of Jesus is our assurance in this.

Renewal and transformation effected by God is the true "Good News" of Easter that resounds in our ears through our colorful worship and festivities. May the light from the empty Tomb of the Risen Savior greet us as we say unison: HE IS RISEN, INDEED HE IS!


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