The story of Easter continues this week in John 20:19-31. Now it is Easter night and the disciples are, to put it mildly, freaked out. Jesus’ body has gone missing, the clues at the tomb are confusing and Mary Magdalene swears she saw him alive. The disciples are now even more terrified that the authorities will hunt them down and crucify them as well. They hide in a secret safe-house behind locked doors, and what happens next transforms them completely, filling them with peace and purpose and power, making their small group of committed followers into a church that will change the world forever.
We need that kind of transformation today—the church needs it and the world needs it. Easter tells us resurrection is real. The spirit of Christ will roll away the stones and unlock the doors and free us and send us out as a people to do what he did and more. We will marvel at this during worship on Sunday and celebrate it and imagine what it means for us.
We will read Psalm 133 and Acts 4:32-35, two passages about the amazing grace of living in unity. We will sing three of the great Easter hymns: “The Strife Is O’er,” “Thine Be the Glory” and “Joy Dawned Again on Easter Day.”
The choir will sing an “Alleluia” as a round and two African-American spirituals that were important to the Civil Rights Movement: “I Woke Up This Morning,” and “Free at Last,” which the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quoted at the end of his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Pianist Annemieke McLane will play pieces by François Couperin, Maurice Ravel and Johannes Brahms.