Sunday 4 April Easter Day

This Sunday we are back in Church for the first time since January!

We have services of Parish Communion at 9.30am at All Saints’ Church, Westbury and at Holy Trinity Church, Dilton Marsh – we very much look forward to welcoming you back!
There is no service at Holy Saviour, Westbury Leigh or All Saints’ Brokerswood.

We are expecting the service at All Saints’ to be fully subscribed and we may not be able to find a seat for those who have not registered in advance. We will do our best to accommodate people but we must maintain a safe environment for everyone.

For those who would still like to worship from the safety of their own home there will be a service at 10am on Zoom led by Revd Helen Durant-Stevensen and Ashley Jones, LLM.

Please sign up for our e-newsletter for more information or contact us for details on how to join our services.

Collect for Easter Day

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Readings for Easter Day

Psalm 118: 1 – 2, 14 – 24

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his steadfast love endures for ever!

Let Israel say,
    ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’

14 The Lord is my strength and my might;
    he has become my salvation.

15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16     the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
    the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.’
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
    and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely,
    but he did not give me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.

21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Acts 10: 34 – 43

34 Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

John 20: 1-18

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ 14 When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’ 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Reflection

He is Risen!

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalen came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

(John 20:1 NRSV)

When Mary Magdalen arrived at the tomb, expecting to lay her bags down and to find someone to help her to roll the stone away, she was alarmed to find that the stone had already been moved. Not only that but the tomb was empty! You can imagine the range of feelings erupting inside her, as she tried to make sense of what she was seeing.

For Mary it was a period of heightened confusion, anguish, shock, grief, perhaps even, rage as, she had hoped to have some private time with Jesus before the others arrived.

We too experience these emotions, especially when things aren’t the way we think they should be. We experience it throughout life, you often hear of new parents saying “no one told me…” we place our expectations and our hopes on people and things and then get upset or angry when it doesn’t work out the way we (or more honestly, each of us) think it should be!

Jesus was raised from the dead, he was given new life, he was able to be with Mary and the other disciples in a new and wonderful way, but as yet, Mary didn’t know this. She was caught in the moment and the horror of what she thought might have happened. We have all had those moments.

Jesus was freed from the tomb, he was freed from the Temple of his body, he was able to be with, do incredible things and, empower others to continue his ministry on earth, his presence was not limited to one place at any one time.

In the baptism service there is a wonderful encouragement that the minister may give, which is seldom heard, “May God, who has given you the desire to follow Christ, give you the strength to continue on the Way.” Jesus’ commission to us can be found in Matthew 28:16-20… Jesus sends us out to meet people who are seeking faith, seeking understanding, seeking healing, seeking to be heard, seeking restoration, seeking justice, seeking reconciliation…will you join his crew and be prepared to go out of your comfort zone, out of the building and into the street?

Grace and peace, Rev’d Caroline

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