Worship at Home for Easter Sunday March 31 2024

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Easter Sunday! Alleluia! Christ is risen! Are the joyful exclamations for this Sunday. Share the joy that Jesus lives with the world!

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church).

  • The funeral for Adam Bock is Saturday, March 30 at 10am at Gottenstroeter’s Funeral Home. Lunch to follow at St. Peter’s.
  • Easter Sunrise Worship at 6:30am in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
  • Easter Worship with Communion at 9am at St. Peter’s UCC
  • Dorcas meeting on Monday, April 1 at 7pm
  • Youth to Sky Zone in April. Talk to Carol Nowack for more information.
  • Please remember to return you congregational surveys by April 14.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Isaiah 25:6-9 • Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 • 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 •Mark 16:1-8

Sermon: Terror and Amazement

Terror and amazement are powerful emotions. We may find ourselves feeling terrified and amazed at the same time. For ancient peoples, a total solar eclipse was both amazing and terrifying. Understanding what is happening during a total solar eclipse has alleviated much of the terror for us. We know that the moon is only temporarily blocking the sun from view. We know that after the moon has finished passing in front of the sun that it will be shining brightly once again. Many of us know this personally as we witnessed a total solar eclipse in Owensville in August of 2017. The amazement of a solar eclipse endures for us personally and culturally. Especially as we anticipate another solar eclipse in Missouri on Monday, April 8.

My prayer is that the amazement of the resurrection remains for us too. The terror of the event has been tempered by centuries of understanding as to what the empty tomb meant for the world and means for us as faithful Christians. For us, the empty tomb embodies the promise of new life through our risen Savior. For us, the empty tomb gives us comfort and hope. For us, the empty tomb is a sign of God’s love and grace.

For the women who went to the empty tomb on the morning when the Sabbath was over, the empty tomb was a moment of terror and amazement. Let us take a moment to mediate on the words in Mark 16:1-8. What happened in these eight verses changed the world. Only the women did not know it as they walked to the tomb at sunrise to anoint Jesus’ body with oil and spices as part of a bereavement ritual.

The grieving women spoke of practical things as they walked to the tomb such as “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb?” Can you imagine their amazement when they saw that the stone had already been rolled away? What did the women think? Did some of the men who followed Jesus arrive at the tomb before the women and helpfully roll the stone away? Were Jesus’ enemies at the tomb to affirm that he was dead? Fear and trepidation surrounded the women as they entered the tomb.

If you have ever been startled by an unexpected presence, you can relate to the alarm which the women felt when they encountered the young man in white sitting on the right side of the tomb. The angel’s assurance, “Do not be alarmed;” did not assuage their terror. Then the angel told them something even more amazing, “He has been raised; he is not here.” The angel explains that Jesus had told them that this would happen and has gone ahead to Galilee to meet Jesus’ disciples. The women fled in terror and amazement.

Mark ends with “they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid.” Well, they must have told someone, or we would not know this story today. Though I understand the feeling of amazed and terrified silence. Who was going to believe a word of this?

Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 lists people to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection. Jesus had gone ahead of them to Galilee. Jesus goes ahead of us still, leading us into paths of new life and hope. We, like Paul, possess an understanding of the empty tomb and the risen Jesus that the women who went to the tomb that morning gained later. For them it was a moment of terror and amazement. We may not have the terror, but may we hold on to the amazement. May the grace and power of the resurrection amaze us today and always!

Prayer: Alleluia! Christ has risen! May the amazement and joy of the resurrection live in my heart today and always. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list for a while, Mark’ s brother Billy, Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z., Jesse, Tammy. Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, John, Dixon’s daughter, Ashlely and Cody, Garth, Linda, Tessa, Carl, Kimbra, Liz’s father, Dannie, Lathe, Marilyn, Kris, Lee Ann, Bob, Diane, Linda, Keetha, Carly, Mia (Good news, she is healing.), Brenda, David, Dave, Jeff, Bill & Kathleen, Bill with cancer, Nancy and Pat, Son-in-law of friends for Diann K., Vickie M., baby Claire. If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.

Special prayers for the family of Adam Bock who passed away last week.