New Covenant Community Church


Easter 2021

by | Apr 7, 2021 | Sermons

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.  We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
– Pope John Paul II

PRELUDE                                           Christ the Lord Is Risen Today                                    Kent Iler, Ensemble Leader
Brass Ensemble
First Baptist Church, Elyria, OH


Leader: With eyes that have witnessed the suffering of humanity, let us now see God’s new
reality emanating from the empty tomb, because . . .
People: Jesus Christ is risen today!
Leader: With ears that have ached from the painful sounds of hatred and violence, let us now
hear the Lord’s new harmonies of hope, because . . .
People: Jesus Christ is risen today!
Leader: With lips that have burned from denials and betrayals, let us now taste the sweetness
of God’s new word for our lives, because . . .
People: Jesus Christ is risen today!
Leader: With hearts that have been heavy with fear and faithlessness, let us now renew our
strength through God’s gift of new possibilities, because . . .
People: Jesus Christ is risen today!
Leader: Today we proclaim a living faith, and we rejoice in God’s gift of life, visible in Jesus,
visible in the church, and visible in us, because . . .
People: Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia!

HYMN                                              Jesus Christ Is Risen Today                                    Ken Heischman
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured; Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as God’s love; Alleluia!
Praise our God, ye heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!

PRAYERS OF CONFESSION                                                                                      (Unison)
God of grace, Lord of life, and Hope of the world,
        even on this day of victorious celebration,
            we confess that we too often live as if we were entombed by the nefarious forces of
            our culture.
                Forgive us when we have failed to reflect the grace of the risen Christ through
                our words, our actions, and our lives,
                    and have mercy upon us for those occasions when our sin has damaged our
                    relationship with You and our fellow human beings.
    Open the tombs which shackle us to the world’s ways,
        and breathe into us the breath of resurrection-life,
            so that we may reorder our lives according to Your design
                and experience the fullness of life that is available through Jesus Christ our
                risen Lord, in whose name we pray.                   (Silent)

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS      (adapted from Isaiah 25:8-9)
Leader: The Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces and remove the reproach of His
    People: This is our God for whom we have waited so that He might save us. Let us
                 rejoice and be glad in God’s salvation.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
    People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

HYMN                                   Lord, I Lift Your Name on High                     Ken Heischman
Lord, I lift Your name on high
Lord, I love to sing Your praises
I’m so glad You’re in my life
I’m so glad You came to save us
You came from heaven to earth To show the way
From the earth to the cross My debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord, I lift Your name on high
(sing twice)

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                     John 20:1-18
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 toward 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. Then the disciples returned to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the
tomb; 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. 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.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).  Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. 17
But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my
God and your God.’” 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.

MEDITATION                                                                                                “Impossible to Believe?”

HYMN                                 Christ Is Alive                            Ken Heischman

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
The cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring.
Love, drowned in death, shall never die.

Christ is alive! No longer bound
To distant years in Palestine,
But saving, healing, here and now,
And touching every place and time.

Not throned afar, remotely high,
Untouched, unmoved by human pains,
But daily, in the midst of life,
Our Savior in the Godhead reigns.

In every insult, rift, and war
Where color, scorn, or wealth divide,
Christ suffers still, yet loves the more,
And lives where even hope has died.

Christ is alive, and comes to bring
Good news to this and every age,
Till earth and sky and ocean ring
With joy, with justice, love, and praise.


INVITATION TO GIVE                                                                                        One Great Hour of Sharing
In Jesus Christ a new day has dawned for all humanity . . .
a new day where God’s life vanquishes every form of death,
and a new day where God also calls us to participate in this work,
summoning to use our time, our talents, and our resources
to shine God’s light, to share God’s love,
and to promote life for all people.
In addition to donating our resources to the church to support Christ’s work both locally and
we also have the opportunity to contribute to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering.
Our gifts to this special offering support the community development that strengthens
families and communities,
and perhaps in what most acutely resonates with us now, this offering also supports
ministries of disaster response.
It is this offering that provided the funds for recoveryin many parts of Kentuckythat experienced
historic flooding from the late February into March 2021,
it was this offering that worked with communities in the south after the most recent
devastating winter storms,
and it was this offering that assisted with recovery for the people of Nicaragua and
Honduras after Hurricanes Eta and Iota.
Therefore, recognizing how much Christ has given to us,
let us prayerfully consider what we can offer to Christ and to the ministry of His church,
as we seek to promote God’s work through the giving of our financial resources and our
human resources.
May God forever bless you as you give.



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