Blessing for a New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
where your thoughts never think to wander,
a new beginning has been quietly forming …
it has been waiting … waiting until you are ready to emerge.
For a long time this new beginning has watched you.
It knows the emptiness growing inside you.
It notices how you struggle to continue,
unable to leave, unable to move further ahead.
This beginning has watched you play in safety.
It has whispered to you all the possibilities of what can become.
It has heard the waves of your turmoil rise and relent.
It has wondered with you- will you always live like this?
What delight at that moment
when you kindle your courage,
when you step out onto new ground,
when your eyes are young again with energy and dream,
and the path of abundance opens before you.
Even though your destination is not yet clear,
you can trust God’s promise of this opening;
you can unfurl yourself into God’s loving grace.
This beginning is what your life desires.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
hold nothing back, learn to find ease in the risk;
soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
for your soul senses the world that awaits you.
Call to worship
Today we celebrate the conquering power of life over death, light over darkness, hope over despair, faith over skepticism. Followers of Jesus know that the powerful hope of Easter sustains us throughout every day and at every step of our journey.
Mary arose “early in the morning” to go to Jesus’ tomb. This image of a new day speaks to us of a new beginning, new opportunities, new encounters. Early morning speaks to us of the freshness of new life. By contrast, this gospel uses the word “tomb” seven times, speaking to us about the seeming finality of Jesus’ death. By even greater contrast, the gospel ends with the scripture certitude that Jesus “had to rise from the dead.” Death is overcome. Death has no victory. God is the Lord of life. Easter celebrates a new beginning, our certitude of new life. May we choose that life.
(John 20: 11-18)
“They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first. …”
An angel. Dazzling light. Boulders upheaved.
Burial head cloth rolled up. Women running to tell disciples.
Disciples racing to see for themselves.
Empty tomb proclaiming the good news!
He was not there! “Where is he?”
“Mary!” The one who has loved us into wholeness
is alive and with us now. We say with her, “Rabbouni!”
The First Reading
“You know what has happened.”
Night surrendered to day, dark to light,
fear to courage, death to resurrection.
Peter, whose fear could not admit he knew the Lord,
now fearless, proclaiming him boldly
across the barren hills. Each place he goes,
in every action he takes.
Lord, Give us, too, your Spirit,
give us your life as you gave it to Peter.
Let us show your story in our lives.
The Second Reading
(Corinthians 5:6-8/ 3: 1-4)
“Seek what is above.”
Lord, O help us to see what is above:
compassion, gentleness, kindness, humility, patience,
forgiveness of one another, bearing with one another.
Let your peace dwell in our hearts!
Let us put on love and find ways to fix the wrongs
we see in our world today.
Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck
Music for reflection
O Lord, let me be like Mary of Magdala,
setting you in my hours of darkness,
determined by faith
that God’s love overcomes evil
even when I am shattered with hope;
even when I desire to mourn
You take my mustard seed faith
in my early morning confusion
and you burst forth within it,
full of new life,
calling me to know vibrant resurrection.