April 12, 2020

The Lord is risen indeed! The open tomb of Jesus is the door to a new way of being in the world. Easter is not one day but fifty. For a week of weeks—fifty days—the church will explore the dimensions of this new life and raise a joyful alleluia!

GATHERING                   The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God


In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  


Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Silence for reflection

Most merciful God,

we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves.  We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.  We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.  Amen.

In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins.  As a called and ordained minister of the church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 



Alleluia!  Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

HYMN                 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today                                 ELW #365


The grace of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.


Let us pray.      

O 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 every day 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. 


WORD                God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song

FIRST READING    Acts 10:34-43                   God raised Jesus on the third day

A reading from the book of Acts:

         34Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All 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.

SECOND READING       Colossians 3:1-4        Raised with Christ to seek the higher things

A reading from the letter to the Colossians:

         1If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

In many and various ways God spoke to the people of old through the prophets But now in these last days, God has spoken to us through his Son.

GOSPEL READING    Matthew 27:62 – 28:10             Proclaim the resurrection

The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, beginning with the 27th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, [Saturday] that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

The Resurrection of Jesus

         1After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.  5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.  7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.”  8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.  10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.  

SERMON                                                            The Rev. Karl M. Richard

HYMN OF THE DAY      “Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone” – C. Tomlin

Verse 1 Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now I’m found Was blind but now I see.

Verse 2 ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear And grace my fears relieved How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.

Chorus My chains are gone I’ve been set free My God my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy rains Unending love amazing grace.

Verse 3 The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures.

Chorus My chains are gone I’ve been set free My God my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy rains Unending love amazing grace.

Verse 4 The earth shall soon dissolve like snow The sun forbear to shine But God who called me here below Will be forever mine. Will be forever mine. You are forever mine. CCLI Song # 4768151

PROFESSION OF FAITH       Nicene Creed

Let us confess the faith of the Church, the faith in which we baptize.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.  For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.  On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.  We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.  We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.


         Those who wish to make an offering to St. Matthew may use the green GIVE button on our website: www.stmattspringfield.org, or mail it to
St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 400 Lynbrooke Rd., Springfield, PA 19064

         Those who wish to make an offering to Grace may mail it to
Grace Lutheran Church, 2191 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA  19008


The peace of Christ be with you always.

And also with you.


Made alive to God in Christ Jesus, let us pray for the church, those in need, and all of God’s creation.                (A brief silence.)

Almighty God, receive the gift of our lives, with all our hopes, dreams, and prayers.

Reveal yourself to us in the Risen Christ, that our eyes may be opened to see your presence among us, and our lives filled with the new life of his resurrection. Hear us O God,

Your mercy is great.

O God, in Christ’s death and resurrection your church is reborn. Bless your people in every nation: Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal. Raise us up to witness together to your undying love for the world. Guide the work of our congregations and our Councils. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

O God, your faithfulness extends to all the earth. On this Easter morn, we pray for your creation. Help us to be faithful stewards of the beautiful world you have entrusted to us. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

O God, the resurrection of your Son means life for every nation. Show us that promise and hope. Heal nations scarred by injustice and greed; give hope to those ravaged by violence. Make terror and destruction cease, bring an end to this pandemic, and renew all things in the bright dawning of your love. Give wisdom the leaders of the world; be with our President Donald J. Trump, our Congress, those serving in our armed forces, and those public servants who work to protect us and keep us safe, that they may all be guided by you and your desire for justice and peace. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

O God, your Son healed all who were oppressed. Bless and protect doctors, nurses, technicians, counselors, and all those who heal and show compassion in Jesus’ name, even as we pray for the many among us who are still in need (especially). Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

O God, in the waters of baptism you call us by name and raise us to new life in you.  Renew us with all faith, hope, and love, that we might be Christ’s risen body in the world. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.       

O God, we give thanks for the saints whose lives proclaim the victory of your love. With them, give us courage to follow our crucified and risen Lord, until all things are gathered in his name. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Into your hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Savior. 



Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray,

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 Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace, In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 


SENDING HYMN Thine is the Glory


Alleluia!  Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Go in peace. Serve the Risen Lord.

Thanks be to God.  Alleluia!

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2007 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23793.

Easter Sunday Worship Service