Gottesdienst am 12.04.2020
Christus spricht: Ich war tot, und siehe, ich bin lebendig von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit und habe die Schlüssel des Todes und der Hölle.
I am the Living One. I was dead. But now look!
I am alive for ever and ever!
And I hold the keys to death and hell.
Grußwort, Psalm und Eingangsgebet
Greeting, Psalm and Prayer
Lied: Gelobt sei Gott im höchsten Thron (EG 103)
Jesus Rises From the Dead
The Sabbath day ended. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices. They were going to use them for Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, they were on their way to the tomb. It was just after sunrise. They asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?”
Then they looked up and saw that the stone had been rolled away. The stone was very large. They entered the tomb. As they did, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe. He was sitting on the right side. They were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. But he has risen! He is not here! See the place where they had put him. Go! Tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. It will be just as he told you.’ ”
The women were shaking and confused. They went out and ran away from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Song: Our God is greater
1. Korinther 15,12-28 / 1 Corinthians 15:12-28
Sermon summary in English:
These days, humanity is proving that life is its greatest good. It's actually overwhelming what we're experiencing right now. All over the world, people have fundamentally changed their everyday lives - for life.
Humanity has decided: prosperity is not the greatest good. Humankind has also decided: fun, entertainment and individual gratification are not the meaning of life. Sports events are canceled. Shopping is reduced to essential things. Cultural life is shut down. Education facilities are closed. Places of social interaction – even worship spaces – are closed. For the first time in a long time, humankind has decided to subordinate everything to the protection and preservation of life.
Economic interests, convenience, mass consumption, self-gratification and selfishness have long been the order of the day in our global society. But now, in this time of Corona, humanity is showing that it is actually fighting for life as its greatest good. Of course, the economy, culture, education and entertainment are also about serving life. But at the moment the most important thing is not the refined and cultivated life. But “naked” life - the bare and basic value of life itself.
The most important thing is life. That is also the message of Easter. Jesus who died has risen. And not only does Christ live, but through him everyone will live. The annihilation of death is the culmination and goal of salvation. The victory of life shows that God (and no one or nothing else) is Lord.
Easter is therefore the feast of life. The victory of “naked” life. The life of the resurrection cannot be earned. Nor can it be achieved through education, nor is it the culmination of cultural development. But as “naked” as Jesus died, he also goes into the new life of the resurrection.
However, just a month ago, the last Sunday we met in our church, we heard Jesus say: Whoever wants to keep his life will lose it. Does that mean we shouldn't cling to life? We are reminded of the martyrs who did not fight for their life, but were ready to die because of their faith. In times of war, sacrificing oneself for one’s people is considered true heroism. ... Is it wrong to put life above everything else?
I think no. Although there are situations that may necessitate not holding on to life, this is not the norm. At least not for us Christians. We Christians are people of life! Because at Easter God showed once and for all: The most important thing is life. Faith and life are not opposites. Indeed, faith leads to life; the goal of faith is life. True life.
This life is something other than well-being or comfort. In our society we sometimes equate “life” with these things. True life is not comfortable. It is “naked” life. The life in which Jesus went through death; a hard-earned life. All in all, the goal for Christ was and is – always - life.
What are the marks of this true life? First, Jesus did not suffer death in order to rise to new life for his own sake. His goal, his motivation was the lives of others. His fight for life (and victory over death) was for others – for us.
When the Corona crisis started, I was not keen to stick to all the precautions and rules. But gradually the argument that convinced me was this: it's not about me, it's about the others – about protecting and saving them.
Second, and perhaps most importantly: True life is not (merely) physical life. Easter life is infinitely greater. It is life that has overcome suffering and death. Easter is the feast of eternal life. From this we must not draw the wrong conclusion that our present, physical life is not important ... it is! God is the God of life. That includes our fragile, physical lives here and now. But the life that God opens up to us is infinitely more. It is eternal life: the life we go into “naked,” without taking anything with us, without anything to prove or show for ourselves. Life in fullness and wholeness, embraced in God's infinite love.
Lied: Er ist erstanden, Halleluja! (EG 116)
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Prayer of Intercession
Risen Lord, be our resurrection and life.
Be the resurrection and the life
for us and all whom you have made,
for those caught in the grip of sin and addiction,
for those who feel forsaken,
for those who live as if you do not,
for those who do not believe they need resurrection and life.
Be the resurrection and the life in churches that believe they are dying,
and in successful churches who don't know they are dead.
Be the resurrection and the life in us who know the good but fail to do it,
who have not been judged but still judge,
who know love but still live for self,
who know hope but succumb to despair.
Be the resurrection and the life for those dying of malnutrition and hunger,
for those imprisoned unjustly and those imprisoned justly,
for those who live under regimes that seek to crush all who proclaim resurrection and life,
for those in the throes of sickness that leads to death.
Be the resurrection and the life for anyone anywhere who knows suffering and death in any form,
and for Creation itself, which groans in travail.
Noch umgibt uns der Tod.
Aber du bist auferstanden, Christus.
Du bist das Leben und nimmst dem Tod die Macht.
Teile dein Leben, deine Auferstehung mit uns
und lass uns aufleben
heute und in diesen österlichen Tagen.
Noch umgibt uns der Tod,
aber wir beten dich an,
denn du bist das Leben.
Vater unser im Himmel,
geheiligt werde Dein Name.
Dein Reich komme.
Dein Wille geschehe,
wie im Himmel, so auf Erden.
Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute.
Und vergib uns unsere Schuld,
wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern.
Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung,
sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen.
Denn dein ist das Reich und die Kraft
und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit.
Hymn: In Christ alone
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.