2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17,
|I know that my redeemer liveth
Hear, O Lord, my righteous plea
They seek him here, they seek him there
Seven grooms for one bride?
|God of Grace and God of Glory
Lead me from death to life
Our God our help in ages past
Dear Lord and Father of mankind
I know that my redeemer lives
May the mind of Christ my saviour
I know that my Redeemer Liveth (Handel's Messiah)
We come to worship Almighty God who has created the world and whose power continues to sustain it: His love is unfailing.
We give thanks that despite our cruelty and violence as a race, we also know
the power of mercy and compassion;
in the face of hatred and lies, we also know something of love and truth;
in the midst of death and war, we also recognize peace and life.
Gracious God, giver and revealer of all good, we thank you and praise you.
We give thanks, Father, for Jesus Christ, the Lord of life, the conqueror of death, the giver of eternal life and peace and hope.
We give thanks, Father, for the Holy Spirit, for his ceaseless revelation of Christ's powerful gospel, in the world, in the Church and in us.
We give thanks, Father, for all people who, by their lives and deaths, bear witness to a hatred of war and a true love of peace
Lord God, every good thing in our lives comes from you; and yet we confess with shame that we have not lived together as your children and shared the gifts that you have given us. So often our lives have reflected not your glory but our own selfishness
Forgive us, lord, if we have loved only those who have loved us, if we have sought our own pleasure and disregarded the needs of our fellows. Forgive us if we have been unkind in our judgements, quick to condemn and slow to forgive. And forgive us if we have given in to our worst and made it difficult for others to live up to their best.
Lord God, if we have come into your presence bitter and cynical, send us out rejoicing and full of gratitude; and make us men and women with pure and great hearts so that we may see our God; for Christ's sake. Amen. We say together the Lord's prayer...
Let us remember before God, and commend to his sure keeping: those who have died for their country in war; those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure; and all who have lived and died in the service of humankind.
They shall not grow old,
as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them.
We will remember them.
Almighty and eternal God, from whose love in christ we cannot be parted,
either by death or life: Hear our prayers and thanksgivings for all whom
we remember this day; fulfil in them the purpose of your love; and bring
us all, with them, to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
|A story is told of a twelve-year-old boy named Jeremy who had a terminal
illness and was still in the second grade. Although there were times when
he spoke clearly and distinctly, most of the time Jeremy just irritated his
teacher, Doris Miller, as he squirmed in his seat, drooled and made grunting
noises which would interrupt the class. One day, she called his parents and
asked them to come to the school for a consultation. In as understanding
a way as possible, she asked them to consider sending Jeremy to a special
school with children his own age. Jeremy's mom cried softly into a tissue
while her husband answered her. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school
of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to
take him out of this school. We know that he really likes it here." After
they left, Miss Miller sat for a long time staring at the snow outside the
window. As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. "Oh God," she
said, "here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with those
of that poor family!" From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's
noises and his blank stares.
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. "Now," she said to them, "I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?" "Yes, Miss Miller!" the children responded enthusiastically--all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never leaving her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? The next morning, nineteen children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk. After they had completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here." The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that is new life, too" Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that moss, too, showed life. Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy's, she thought, and, of course, he had not understood her instructions. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?" Flustered, Doris replied, "But Jeremy--your egg is empty!" He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty too!" Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was empty?" "Oh, yes!" Jeremy exclaimed. "Jesus was killed and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!" The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the schoolyard, Doris sat at her desk and cried. The cold inside her melted completely away. Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see nineteen eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.
(Edited from What Was In Jeremy's Egg? from the book What Was In Jeremy's Egg?, copyright 1997 by Ida Mae Kempel.)