High River United Church of High River, Alberta


Easter Morning with Your Family

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Waiting. Watching. Praying.

That is what Holy Week is about. I just can’t bring myself to do anything that is celebratory or fun on these days, especially on Good Friday. Even if the sun is shining, Good Friday always seems a somber day to me.   It may be called “Good” – which is actually derived from “God’s” Friday, in the same way that “God be with you” became “good-bye.” But though it is called “good,” God’s Friday always feels just like that – a day that I need to give to God, in worship, in prayer, in waiting.


But then comes Easter morning – and even if it is raining, I feel the joy, the hope, the possibility. I can’t wait to see everyone in church that morning. The love is tangible as we gather – God’s love for us and our love for each other. We are there to care for one another, to support one another and to celebrate together the news I get to shout, “Christ is risen; he is risen indeed.”


Now I know that there are some who have come on Easter Sunday who are grieving, some who are stressed about life, finances or illness, some who are in pain, some who are waiting to hear news that they aren’t sure will be good, some who are out of work, and some dealing with depression. Some who gather on Easter may not feel the joy in the air or the tangible love as we gather. My prayer is that in our gathering we will enfold each other in love and share a peace that passes understanding. My prayer is that as we gather a moment of joy will enter tender and hurting hearts so that they are reminded that they are not alone.


Because that is what Easter is all about! Easter is God’s grand statement to the world – I share both your joys and your sorrows, your triumphs and your tragedies, your suffering and your celebrations! I am with you! You are not alone!


With Easter, God played a joke on death, announcing that death would not have the final word. As Martin Luther King, Jr. declared in one of his speeches: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” In the face of death and disaster, God proclaims life and hope and possibility. 

So having waited, watched, and prayed on the somber final days of Holy Week, Easter morning is the time to celebrate.



Here are some ideas to make it a special morning:

 1. Set the table the night before, with a white or gold (the colours of Easter) tablecloth, good dishes, flowers, brightly coloured napkins, an Easter basket, a candle to light. Make it something wonderful to see first thing in the morning. Also, have your morning food prepared, if possible.


2. If you wish, get up just before sunrise, and watch the sunrise together. Easter Sunrise on April 1, 2018 is at 7:11 am in High River. If you don’t get up this early, share this celebration later.


3. Cuddle together and watch the brightening skyout the window. Read together this scripture from Luke 24:1-12:

At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they      had prepared to place around Jesus’ body. They found the entrance stone rolled back from  the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of Jesus.


 They were confused, and were trying to make sense of it when suddenly two men, in dazzling bright clothes stood with them. At first, the women were scared and began to bow down to   the men. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to the authorities, be killed on a cross, and then in three days he would rise up?” Then the women remembered Jesus’ words.


 They left the tomb and hurried back to share the news with the eleven disciples and all the rest of Jesus’ friends. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women kept telling these things to the disciples, but the disciples thought they were making it all up.


But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb as fast as he could. He bent down to look in and saw only a few grave clothes. At that moment he believed the women. Then Peter himself went back to share the news with everyone. He was truly amazed and filled with wonder.


3. Ask each other – but don’t forget to watch for the sunrise and/or the brightening sky:


            I wonder which part of this story you like the best?


            I wonder what it would have been like to be there and find the empty tomb?


            I wonder how the women felt when no one would believe them?


            I wonder what Peter did after he walked away feeling puzzled?


            I wonder what you would have done if you had been there that morning?


4. When the sun has risen and the sky is bright, greet each other with the Easter greeting:


            You say: Christ is risen!     The other person responds: He is risen indeed.

            Then you both say: Hallelujah!    (which means “Praise God!”)


5. Say a prayer of thanks together. You might each name something for which you are thankful this morning. You might share this prayer.

                         Thank you, Loving God, for this Easter morning.

                         With gratitude and joy, we welcome

                         this celebration of resurrection,

                         this festival of hope,

                         this promise of new beginnings,

                         this dance of faith,

                         this song of joy,

                         this music of gladness,

                         this hymn of love.

                         We worship you, our life-giving God,

                        with all our heart, with all our soul,

                        with all our mind and with all our body

                         As we dance along the road of resurrection,

                        we say, THANK YOU, GOD, for life and hope and possibility.

                         Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed. Hallelujah!

                                                                                     adapted from Celebrate God’s Presence, p. 192


6. Share a breakfast feast with favourite foods. Hunt for Easter eggs! Celebrate!


Hope to see you in church and to declare for you the words of mystery and hope:

Christ is risen; he is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

March 29, 2018                                    ©Susan Lukey 2018

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