Early Easter Sunday morning we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection by carrying our heavy wooden cross up the hill, as we have done every year for almost 30 years.

We walked in silence and took turns carrying the  cross.

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We stopped 5 times to listen to Scripture and to sing together.

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We paused at the top to look out over the valley and reflect on the meaning of Christ’s resurrection before singing “Lift your glad voices!”

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And then we made our way back down to the church for breakfast and worship.

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EASTER BREAKFAST

Choices! Choices! The array of breakfast casseroles, fresh fruit, and baked goodies was enough to satisfy a large group of diners.

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WORSHIP SERVICE

The table centerpiece created by Jane and Ken reminded everyone of the meaning of Easter – an empty tomb!

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We enjoyed lots of wonderful music, Scripture readings, and reflections from four eye-witnesses:  Peter, Mary Magdalene, Cleopas and Thomas.

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HE IS RISEN!

HE IS RISEN INDEED!!

 

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Hear the words of Jesus:

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” [Matt.4:4]

“Give us this day, our daily bread.” [Matt. 6:11]

The bread of God comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” [John 6:32]

“I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” [John 6:41]

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” [John 6:51]

“I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me will not hunger.” [John6:35]

The simple, everyday act of eating bread is something most of us do without thinking. But in our Christian context, bread means much more than a prop for peanut butter. It invites us to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and mercy in the sacrificial gift of His Son.

During the Lenten season this year we will be looking at several stories of “Bread” from both the Old and New Testaments. We will ponder our own hunger, and reflect on Jesus’ profound, nourishing and sufficient grace. And, perhaps, realize anew that His grace is ours to freely receive, as we confess our need and turn to Him to be filled.

The theme is embodied by the folk hymn “Take Our Bread” by Joe Wise, which we will sing each Sunday.  If you would like to read some of the Bible stories for yourself ahead of time, you can read John 6:1-13; Exodus 16:1-36; I Kings 19:1-8; Lev. 24:5-9; John 6:25-58. 

In the little village of Taftsville, Vermont,  anyone out and about early on EASTER MORNING may notice a small cluster of pilgrims silently carrying a large wooden cross up the hillside behind the Chapel.   They may even hear strains of familiar Easter hymns echoing through the valley.

Each Easter morning for nearly 30 years, we have gathered at the Chapel for our sunrise service, or Resurrection Walk. We take turns, usually two at a time, shouldering the heavy cross as we make our way up the road. We stop from time to time to join our voices in song,  to meditate on the scripture story,  and to share the burden of bearing the cross.   It is a quiet and solemn journey, reflecting on our Lord’s burden on our behalf.

As we read of Jesus sealed in the tomb, we reach the end of our walk, and pause. Then, we read of the women on Sunday morning who found the tomb empty, and we turn around to the sunshine.  The  glorious valley opens out before us in the fresh morning light and we joyfully proclaim  “Lift Your Glad Voices!”   He has risen indeed, and we shall not die!  It is a joyful journey back down the hillside,  to enjoy a hearty breakfast and fellowship together, and gather for our regular worship service at 9:30 a.m.

This Easter morning, April 24, we will be leaving the Chapel at 7:00 a.m.  for our traditional Resurrection Walk.   We hope all who are able will join us for this special time together.