Live for a Change – An Easter Journey (PDF)

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LIVE FOR A CHANGE is a liturgical guide that is designed to lead you into a deep experience of resurrection. It examines eight encounters that various people had with the Risen Christ and draws us into the experience so that we can touch the life that the Biblical characters found.

Description

After a year of COVID-19 lockdowns almost the entire human population finds itself longing for the pandemic to be over. The desperation to go out into the world without physical distancing, sanitising, and masks is almost palpable no matter where we may go. It’s like we are all asking ourselves a question we hardly even considered before: Is there life after death? For some this question relates to the shattering reality of the physical death of a loved one. For others, it relates to the ‘little deaths’ of loss of work, loss of income, loss of privacy, loss of safety, or loss of a relationship.

The season of Easter speaks deeply and comfortingly into this climate of fear, depression, and hopelessness. And a significant part of the message of Easter is the call to live. Not to go back to what the mindless existence we called living before the pandemic. But rather to real living—the abundant, vibrant, adventurous, creative living, that leaves us breathless with wonder and joy. And as we learn to dive more deeply into this life, so we inevitably find things changing in our personal lives and in our homes, neighbourhoods, and world.

Easter is a fifty-day journey that explores the meaning and implications of the resurrection of Christ. The point of the season is not to rehash an ancient miracle story. It is to open us to experience the fullness of life that Jesus preached about. Easter is not primarily Jesus’ story. It is our story and the story of our universe. It is not a once-off event, but a cosmic reality that plays out every moment.

LIVE FOR A CHANGE is a liturgical guide that is designed to lead you into a deep experience of resurrection. It examines eight encounters that various people had with the Risen Christ and draws us into the experience so that we can touch the life that the Biblical characters found.

LIVE FOR A CHANGE includes full scripts (containing prayers, response rituals, practices for people to carry into the week, and suggestions for small groups and personal devotions) for every week of the Easter season up to the week before Pentecost (Pentecost will kick of the next liturgical guide). There is also a custom written Easter Table Liturgy that will fit with any week in which you choose to share Communion. Together they promise to make the Holy Week journey a deeply meaningful and transforming experience. Each week you will find prayers, liturgies, sermon starters, response rituals, and practices that people can take with them into the coming week.

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LIVE FOR A CHANGE CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS

LIFE – Easter Sunday

Sometimes things happen that change how we see and believe everything—we fall in love, we get seriously ill or close to death, we meet someone who thinks in ways we would never have imagined. When that happens we can never be the same. The resurrection is one of those events—if we can only believe it.

HOPE – Easter 2

The world is constantly changing. We are constantly changing. There are little deaths all the time. And sometimes we struggle with them so much we can’t move beyond them. We get stuck and we can’t find a new way forward. But resurrection tells us that each little death has the potential to lead us into new life—into a little resurrection—if we will let it. And that is where we find the capacity to live with hope.

TRANSFORMATION – Easter 3

God’s grace and life are a free gift. Resurrection is everywhere and all we have to do is receive it. But, there’s a catch—if we receive resurrection life, we will be changed. That life will permeate our entire lives. It will seek to bring peace into our fear, and it will blow the power of the Spirit through us to go into the world as sent ones, salt and light, who make the world richer through the simple, powerful act of forgiveness.

REALISATION – Easter 4

We all long to experience life at its most vibrant and full. We love those moments when we feel most alive and connected with God and others and ourselves. We long to experience that resurrection life that can lift us out of the little deaths in our lives. But, so often we miss the life that is right there available to us.

FAITH – Easter 5

The point of resurrection is not to prove that someone died and came back to life. It’s to show us that life is not defeated by death and that we can know vibrant, abundant life right now in our own lives.

HOSPITALITY – Easter 6

We cannot build a safer world by building walls between us and creating bigger guns to fight off any enemies. That just leads to escalating fear and violence and insecurity. The only way we can build a safer world and safer lives is by turning enemies and strangers into friends—through the practice of hospitality.

WORSHIP – Ascension Day

So let’s not waste our lives staring into heaven and waiting until we die to go ‘up there’ to be with Jesus. Let’s give ourselves in worship, in investing the best of our time, energy, emotion, and resources into living by the values and priorities of God’s Reign now.

LOVE – Easter 7

Love is hard. That’s why we so often choose the opposite. And it’s why we need Jesus to constantly stop us in our tracks, lead us into deeper understandings of God, and into deeper experiences of love.

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