Virtual Easter Service – April 4, 2021

8:30 am

April 4, 2021

Welcome to virtual church!

For the latest news and updates from Walton, please check our Facebook page, Instagram.
Please contact office@waltonmemorial.com if you would like to be added to our email list.

Sunday Service Video (30+ minutes followed by the hymns)

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – video and text. If you wish, you can download and print the service from this document – link – or you can read the complete service below.

The hymn-sing is at the end.


Announcements

• Tax preparation for people with modest incomes: The Walton Tax Clinic will be starting up again on March 1st, 2021, as part of the Walton Outreach Committee. Due to COVID precautions, we will manage with an “exchange of documents” in the Walton parking lot and follow-up telephone calls. If you have an interest in having us assist you, please call: 905-631-6188
• To mark Lent this year – Sadly because there was no Shrove Tuesday Pancake/Sausage Supper, the Outreach Committee would like to suggest a modest program for your household Lenten givings.
– If you choose to participate, you decide on an amount of money you can afford to donate over the period of Lent, which is February 17 – April 4, 2021.
– There are two ways to participate:
1. You make a straight donation of suggested $0.50 per day to the Lenten Givings fund, for 40 days, equalling $20.00. Click here to donate online, or send in your donation marked “Lent”
OR
2. You put a non-perishable item into a box each day throughout Lent, which can be dropped off at the church after Easter (April 4, 2021).
– As we usually ask you to make a financial donation, or to bring a non-perishable item for our Easter food drive, this program would replace that initiative.
– As always, we appreciate anything you can donate, however, the food bank does have a list of “really required” items: cake mixes, prepared icing, dish soap, bar soap, shampoo for both babies and adults, body wash, deodorant, baby wipes, Goodnights pull-ups for girls and boys.
– We miss seeing all of you!
• Children and youth
are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Don’t miss the final week of our Easter Eggs-periments!
•  Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com
•  If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com


Sunrise

From the grief of Good Friday,
Through the waiting of Easter Saturday,
The world emerges into Easter morn.
The sun is rising,
Night sheds its grip on the world.
A new day awaits.
Come and see.

Hallelujah Chorus

 

Welcome

Good morning and welcome to worship at Walton on this Easter morning!

And this morning our Lenten journey has first brought us here, to Bronte Harbour Pier, where, in a normal year, we would be meeting for our traditional early morning pier service.
If you’ve been following our services each week, you’ll know that we have been guiding our progress through Lent this year with markers of hope.

In week one, we recognized the hopeful power of taking the first step, of just getting started. Then in week two, we affirmed the wonder of creation – a vivid reminder that we can hope because God is always at work in the world.

Then in week three, we remembered the hope that is found in the grace of God, and gave thanks that even when we stumble, God is with us, guiding us and loving us.

Further along the Lenten journey, we acknowledged the role we can each play in fostering hope for others. By offering a word of encouragement or giving someone a sincere compliment, we help them to keep going, perhaps to recognize how far they’ve come, and to be inspired to keep hoping.

Last week, on Palm Sunday, we affirmed that we can always ask for forgiveness, and that God will always pardon us; and that we can therefore hope in the future, knowing that we need not be trapped by our past.

And so our Lenten journey brings us to today – Easter Sunday – the celebration of faith and hope and love, when we proclaim that there is nothing so bleak or desperate, not even death itself, that God will not be there with us, working through us and triumphing over despair and darkness.

The last step on our journey then is to claim this hope and reach out for God’s ever-present love; to shout Hallelujah and share the good news of this happy, hopeful day.
Hallelujah! Let us worship God.

Call to Worship

Early in the morning, just after sunrise, they seek out the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. With each new day of possibility or challenge, we too, O God, seek out your hope.

Grieving in the garden, apprehensive and trembling, they crave comfort and healing. In the depths of our pain, amidst fear or frustration, we too, O God, crave your peace.

Astonished by the empty tomb, reassured by the angel, they experience God in the world. Through surprising encounters, the joy of unexpected answers, we too, O God, proclaim your love.

Bewildered and uncertain, overwhelmed yet astounded, they hear the Easter triumph: he is not here. He is risen!

The Easter triumph is ours today too, as we declare God’s victory over death: Christ is risen. Hallelujah! Praise be to God.

Opening Prayer

Creator of Life, in raising Christ Jesus up, through, out of, and beyond the chains of death, You opened for us the way to eternal and abundant life.

May our Alleluias on this day float high above the ceiling of what we think we know and transcend to the heaven of what we believe— and thus live.

Raise us up! Renew our lives! Resurrect our dreams!
Through Jesus Christ our Living Savior,
Amen.

~ written by Karen Turner

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Youth Story: “Resurrection Eggs”

Alison and Val have a carton of eggs, but they aren’t for breakfast, and they aren’t ordinary Easter eggs. They are Resurrection Eggs – 12 colourful plastic eggs, each filled with an item that helps tell the Easter story from start to finish.

    1. A donkey, for Jesus’ triumphal Palm Sunday entrance in Jerusalem
    2. Silver coins, for Judas’ betrayal
    3. A cup, for the wine Jesus poured at the Last Supper
    4. Praying hands, for night of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
    5. A whip, for Pilate’s flogging of Jesus
    6. A rooster, for the prediction that Peter would deny Jesus 3 times before the rooster crowed
    7. A crown of thorns, which was placed on Jesus’ head
    8. Nails in the shape of a cross
    9. A spear, which soldiers used to pierce Jesus’ side
    10. A piece of white linen cloth, like the one used to wrap Jesus’ body
    11. A stone, like the one which seal the entrance to the tomb
    12. NOTHING! The final egg is empty, just like the tomb on that glorious Easter morning

He is risen! Hallelujah!

 

Scripture Reading: Mark 16: 1-8

The Resurrection of Jesus

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Morning Message: “Hot Cross Buns” – Rev. Jim

Every family of faith has its own traditions and customs. Here at Walton, one of them is that our Congregational Life committee holds a continental breakfast on Easter morning after our Bronte Pier sunrise service. Beyond the usual coffee, tea, orange juice and muffins, they serve us something else at the breakfast. It is a delicious seasonal treat – hot cross buns. It’s one of the traditions I miss having this Easter Sunday. But hopefully next Easter, Bronte Hall will have many overflowing platters of those tasty hot cross buns. Let me tell you more.

“Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.” Our reading in Mark today tells us of the events of the first Easter. Early in the morning, the three women were heading to the garden tomb. The site was given by Joseph of Arimathea for the burial of Jesus after the Good Friday crucifixion. The three women were intent on showing their love and adoration of the crucified Jesus by way of those anointing spices. You see, Jesus was not what we would describe today as being embalmed on Good Friday. Spices were to be used for that purpose.

The spices were a symbol of the loving care offered by those three grief-filled followers of Jesus. The hot cross bun is by definition a “highly-spiced” sweet bun. These spices and flavours include:

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup sultanas – a small, light brown, seedless raisin

The hot cross bun is certainly a very tasty Easter treat but it is also a way to remember the real meaning of Easter expressed by those Easter spices. Of course, on the top of the bun is the symbol of Christianity, the symbol of the cross. In many ways this simple sweet spiced bun summarizes the death and resurrection of Jesus. The very good news is that the spices those three women brought to the garden tomb that Easter morning were not needed. For Jesus had risen. No need to embalm the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

A while ago I was talking to some people discussing what if Jesus had not been raised from the dead. Someone remarked, “Well, there would be no hot cross buns.” We sort of all chuckled at the wisecrack. But when you think about it, that comment captured it so well. It’s just not hot cross buns that wouldn’t exist. Paul put it best in 1 Corinthians 15:4 when he wrote: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

Hear again what Paul so powerfully said to his times and to our times: If Jesus is not raised, then our preaching is useless. Even more, our faith is useless. The Christian message hangs on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is why today is so critical to us as followers of Jesus. It is the central truth that makes Jesus’s message one centred on the promise and hope of Eternity. Death is not the end. The cross was not the end of the story, but actually the beginning of a totally new story.

We are here today because those Easter spices went unused. The angel told the three women carrying the spices: “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.”

This is the heart and soul of the gospel. Yet even within some congregations today we hear preaching that is downplaying, negating and minimizing the truth of the resurrection. When I am working alone in the church office, I will often have on in the background other congregations’ services from YouTube. I want to hear what they are doing in their virtual services.

The other day I was listening to a service from a church less than an hour’s drive away. The person started the service by saying, “Some Christians still believe that Jesus rose. This is not our belief here in this congregation.”

I was totally stunned. I replayed the YouTube a few times to see if I heard it right. As I watched that service, I heard Paul saying those words: “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Either there was a resurrection or there was not. If not raised, why are we doing what we are doing? Why are we uploading our services to YouTube?
Kelli Fostor, the food editor, writes: “The origins of hot cross buns may go back as far as the 12th century. According to the story, an Anglican monk baked the buns and marked them with a cross in honour of Good Friday. Over time they gained popularity, and eventually became a symbol of the Easter weekend.”

With the Netflix series “The Crown,” we have heard a lot about Queen Elizabeth II. Foster continues her story of the history of Hot Cross buns: “Towards the end of the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I passed a law limiting the sale of sweet buns (hot cross buns) to funerals, Christmas, and the Friday before Easter. As a way to get around the law, more and more people began baking these sweet buns at home. Not only did they grow in popularity, but the law became too difficult to enforce and was eventually rescinded.”

I think it important to note which three occasions the sale of hot cross were limited to by the original Queen Elizabeth. Good Friday for hot cross buns of course makes sense. Christmas also makes sense, for that is where the story of Jesus begins. But note the third occasion when selling of hot cross buns was allowed: at funerals. For at a Christian funeral, the central truth underlying the message is that amidst the grieving of family and friends there is the message of Heaven through Jesus Christ. As we remember our loved ones in a Christian funeral, there is the promise that Jesus has prepared a place for us in his Father’s heavenly home.

I was finishing up writing this sermon back a few weeks ago, leading up to Sunday Lent 5, which was March 21. I wondered to myself whether “Hot Cross Buns” was really a good title for an Easter sermon? I came back into the office after having been away for a few hours and found a delicious gift from a committee member left on my desk. It was a bag of fresh baking from Cobbs Bakery. Not simply bread but fresh hot cross buns. I laughed to myself. God has a way of using other people’s actions and timing to touch us. You see, God can use even a bun to remind us of Easter truths. So I kept my sermon title just as it was written.

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Jesus Christ is risen. Hallelujah! Easter blessings. Amen.

Easter Prayer

Ever Present, Loving God,
When everything was dark and it seemed that the sun would never shine again, your love broke through.

Your love was too strong, too wide, too deep for death to hold.

The sparks cast by your love dance, and spread, and burst forth with resurrection light.
Gracious God, we praise you for the light of new life made possible through Jesus.

We praise you for the light of new life that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection.

We praise you for the light of new life that continues to shine in our hearts today.

We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy will live in us each day; and that we will be bearers of that light into the lives of others. Amen.

(written by the Rev. Michaela Youngson, Posted on Preach the Story. )

Anthem: “Creation Sings” – Virtual Choir

(See the video of today’s service to see the anthem)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

In an act of celebration and in an act of gratitude for God’s eternal blessings, let us make our offerings to God – the gift of our money, our time, our ability, our compassion, our lives. Let us make our offerings to God.

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card. Click here to go to our donation page to make a single or recurring donation. Multiple funds (including Sleeping Children) can be included in one donation by using the “Add Donation” button.
♥ by cheque through the mail slot at the Church office entrance or by Canada Post.
♥ by monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact stuart@waltonmemorial.com.

Offering Prayer

Let us pray. Living God, on this glorious day, we present our gifts to you. We ask that you anoint them with your Spirit and use them, that others may know the Good News of new life, new hope, and new possibilities given to us through the Living Christ. We pray in the name of the Living Christ. Amen.

Benediction

Being here together in virtual worship, has been a rebirthing place on the long journey of faith. Move on from here with your spirits renewed and your heads held high. Exactly where this week will take us, each of us is uncertain. The one thing certain is that God loves us, and we shall never travel alone.
(Adapted Kevin Little, L/E2015 The Gathering)

Closing: “Forever and A Day”

 


Walton’s Musical Message

This morning on Facebook and on YouTube, we’re sharing a video where Linda shares with us several of our favourite hymns! Sing along!

♬ Jesus Christ is Risen Today
♬ Worthy is the Lamb
♬ Hallelujah, Give Thanks
♬ Roll the Stone Away
♬ The Strife is O’er


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, March 31st