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Easter Sunday - "Left Hanging on the Resurrection" by Pr. Jim


4 April 2021

Grace Lutheran Church

Ashland, Oregon

The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim


Jesus’ Resurrection is the single greatest event in all history. It is the turning point of history and the birthplace of all hope, peace, and true joy. We are glad that you have chosen to worship with the people of God gathered in this place around Word and Sacrament. Guests and visitors, if you have not done so already, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Pastor Jim or this morning’s lay assistant will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning our parish. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   He is not here, He has risen!

He is risen! He is risen, indeed! The Festival of Easter is the crowning point of the Christian faith, worship, and life. There is a sense of celebration

in The Church on this day for the resurrection of Christ proclaims victory over sin’s most dreaded consequence—death and the grave.

Today’s good news is Christ’s victory is our victory.

The disciples’ story is our story. We, too, are participants. We, too, are victors. The peace which Christ brings belongs to each of us through our baptism into Christ. This

is our living hope. A hope which moves us to share his peace with others through our witness and service.


Almighty God, through your only Son you overcame death and opened for us the gate of eternal life. Give us your continual hope; put good desires into our minds and bring them to full effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


PRE-SERVICE MUSIC Christ the Lord Is Risen Today; Alleluia LSB 463

Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia LSB 466


Christ is risen! Jesus is alive, and God has swallowed up death forever. This

is why we gather: to proclaim, witness, praise, and affirm the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection. In word and feast, we celebrate God’s unending love,

and depart to share this good news with all the world.

PRELUDE Easter Prelude—Sam Elison

(Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain & Jesus Lives And So Shall I)

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Organ


Alleluia! The Lord is risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We were baptized in the Name of the Father

and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

     In whose Name we worship. Amen.

We are risen to a new life!

In Christ, we are risen indeed!

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


The Lord be with you.

               And also with you.



Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?

Yes, I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

Yes, I believe Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

Yes, I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life + everlasting. Amen.


Catalina Marie


James Steven



Through Baptism God has made these new sisters and brother members of the priesthood we all share in Christ Jesus, that we may proclaim the praise

of God and bear his creative and redeeming Word to all the world.

    We welcome you into the Lord’s family. We receive you as fellow

members of the body of Christ, children of the same heavenly

Father, and workers with us in the kingdom of heaven.


HYMN of PRAISE Jesus Christ Is Risen Today LSB 457

Jesus Christ is ris’n 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 heav’nly 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 His love; Alleluia!

Praise Him, all ye heav’nly host, Alleluia!

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!


God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the Cross for our redemption,

and by His glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death.

Make us die to sin, so that we may live with Him forever in the joy of the

resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Acts 10:34-43

[Peter’s sermon, delivered at the home of Cornelius, a Roman army officer, sums up the essential message of Christianity. Everyone who believes in Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the prophets, receives forgiveness of sins through his Name.]

Then Peter began to speak [the people]: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You

know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling

the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord

of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.

They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

The word of the Lord.

             Thanks be to God!

PSALM 118 (Please join Worship Team in singing the Refrain)

          Refrain: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!

The LORD is my strength and my song;

He has become my salvation.

The LORD’s right hand is lifted high;

The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!

I will not die but live,

And will proclaim what the LORD has done. Refrain

I will give you thanks, for you answered me;

You have become my salvation.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the capstone;

The LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day the LORD has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Refrain

SECOND LESSON 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

[The core of the Christian faith and Paul’s preaching is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As the crucified and risen Christ appeared to the earliest of his followers, so we experience the presence of the Risen Christ in the preaching of this faith.]

Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which you also stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and then he

appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though

some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of

all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been born in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was

not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to hear.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

ALLELUIA & VERSE (Join in singing the Alleluia & Verse) 

               Alleluia! Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal

life. Alleluia!

HOLY GOSPEL Mark 16:1-8

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 16th chapter.

               Glory to you, O Lord.

[The resurrection of Jesus is announced, and the response is one of terror and amazement.]

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.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

GRACE CHOIR & BRASS The Glory of This Day—EJ Hinajosa  

HOMILY Left Hanging On the Resurrection—Pr. Jim Text: The Gospel Lesson

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

Biblical scholars agree that this brief Marcan account of Jesus’ resurrection is the earliest narrative we have of what took place at the tomb that first Easter morning. To be sure, Christians have been uncomfortable with Mark’s ending with verse 8 as recorded in early manuscripts … for Mark gives no stories of the disciples’ encounter with the risen Christ … stories that are essential to Paul’s account of the gospel in today’s second lesson .. and to the way the other Gospel writers tell it.

Instead, Mark tells us of the empty tomb … the young man seated there who tells the two Marys’ and Salome that Jesus is risen and will appear to them in Galilee as he promised. But the women are terrified. They leave the tomb in a state of fear and confusion. And that’s where the Easter account begins and ends according to St. Mark .. an empty tomb and some terribly upset people. Now what you’d expect!

But there’s a purpose in Mark’s telling us where Easter begins and ending the account where he does. Easter begins with the mighty work of God himself … who raises his Son from the grave at a moment and in a way that no human eye observed. Easter begins without satisfying our curiosity as to how it all happened. Easter begins with the mystery of The Resurrection and the intimate act in which God glorifies his Son by declaring him the Victor over all that brought him to the Cross and grave. Easter has to do with God’s will to present his Son as the answer to our sin and death-prone ways. Easter begins with God’s activity and grace in his Son … for the forgiveness of our sins and new life in Christ.

Mark’s emphasis … you see … in on where and with whom that Easter deed of God is intended. Easter begins with people … broken people … people of shattered hopes and lowered expectations.

In the text, the trio of women were on their way to the tomb with burial spices. The size of the stone blocking the entrance to the tomb was on their minds. “Who will roll away the stone?” they ask. With that detail, Mark is telling us to take a close look at the state of these women’s hearts that first Easter morning … worried …troubled by the news … and then running away from the tomb in near panic.

On this Easter morning, all of us can identify with the women at the tomb. We all have moments in our own lives when the stone seems immovable … when our hopes and dreams seem to lie unrealized and forever buried. The reality of life beyond these sacred walls is that so much of it is lived in fear and hopelessness … with little or no reference to the empty tomb … when life is gradually eroded by the day-to-day priorities of “just keep it all together” … as we look after ourselves and settle into a routine that makes little or nothing our of the Resurrection of our Lord.

But thank God that he is gracious beyond our wildest imagination. For in spite of our fears … lowered expectations … and hopes … the tomb of his Son is empty … the stone is rolled away. And we too are left hanging on the Resurrection.

In so many of the faces and in so many hearts of those who surround you this morning are stories of faith and spiritual strength that know Easter is still Easter when waiting anxiously outside and intensive care unit … or standing beside an open grave … or working through a trying problem. Faces and hearts that are left hanging on the Resurrection.

Left hanging on the Resurrection. In a sense, the story of Mark ends with a riddle. On the one hand, the women go away telling no one because they were afraid (v. 8) and yet, on the other hand, we along with the whole world know this story. That can mean only one thing. By the grace of God, the women told the disciples and Peter … who then went to Galilee to meet Jesus … and from there … carried the good news to Rome and beyond.

Mark’s point is that all this happened because Jesus said it would. In this sense the words “just as he told you” (v. 7) are the punchline of the whole Gospel. Jesus’ word is trustworthy—“those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it” (8:35)—because God is not only the One who raised Jesus from the dead, but is also the One who turns fear-ridden disciples into faith-ruled recipients and proclaimers of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Possessing the resurrection hope makes a difference not only in our own lives but also the lives of others. What better place is there than to be left hanging of The Resurrection?

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +


Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us pray for the Church, the world, and all those in need.

+ A Brief Silence +

Praise to you, O God, for your power revealed in The Resurrection of your Son! Fill your Church with the power of your love that is stronger than death. Send us to tell the good news wherever death holds sway. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Praise to you for your life at work in The Resurrection! Fill all of creation with your life. Bring it to blossom and flourish; use it to remind us of your persistent grace. Cultivate our care for what you made. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Praise to you for the peace made possible in The Resurrection! Fill the nations with your peace; guide their leaders with wisdom and compassion, that they would not exploit their power but maintain justice and work for peace. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Praise to you for the hope of The Resurrection! Fill all in need with hope: those who

are afraid or confused, those who are ill and grow weary in their struggle with health concerns especially Charlie and Marguerite (MaryAnn’s father and mother), Rusty (under hospice care), Shari ( recovering from surgery & continued cancer therapy), Lucinda (recovering from surgery) those suffering from COVID-19, together with those we name in our hearts [pause briefly] that they may receive hope, healing, and the mercies rendered by us as God’s people as we pray for them. Embrace all who are lonely or homebound, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, and those we name in our hearts [pause briefly] that they may be assured of your loving presence in our compassion, prayers, and care for them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Praise to you for the joy of your Resurrection, O Lord! Fill this assembly with joy as we are called your beloved in Baptism. Multiply that joy so that we can share and give witness to it in our lives. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Praise to you for the comfort of The Resurrection! With steadfast love and mercy console all who mourn: The Paxson Family who mourn the death of Joyce; The Simms and Peterson families who mourn the death of Lila Ruth Peterson (Cindy’s mother); The Hoff and Turner families who mourn the death of Raal (Alice’s sister). Uphold these families and lift their eyes beyond their tears and fill their hearts with the sure and certain knowledge of your abiding presence. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Praise to you for your faithfulness revealed in The Resurrection! Fill us with trust, that we may join with all the saints who have gone before us in proclaiming “your mercy endures forever!” Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Gracious God, we bring before you a portion of what you first gave us and

with these gifts our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for

all those in need until the coming of your Son, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you.

   And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

   We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

   It is right to give him thanks and praise.



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

and the power and the glory

forever and ever. Amen.


The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.


Distribution Music Alleluia—Robert Morrison Stults

Tatsiana Asheichyk, Organ



We thank you, O God, for the free gift of righteousness and peace in Jesus Christ, whose body and blood have nourished us here. Lead us out from

this house of prayer to the places you will show us, so that we will be a blessing to others in the Name of Christ, our Redeemer and Lord. Amen.


SONG Thank the Lord LSB p. 181 (Join in singing)

Thank the Lord and sing his praise; tell ev’ry-one what He has done.

Let ev’ry-one who seeks the Lord rejoice and proudly bear His Name.

He recalls His promises and leads His people forth in joy with shouts of

thanksgiving. Alleluia, Alleluia!          

+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +

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