Easter Sunrise Service
Sunday 31 March 2002
7:30 AM

Presented by the Senior High UMYF

Call to Worship
Leader: They sat behind closed doors, that first Easter evening. 
People We hide our faith behind closed doors today.
Leader They feared that they too might be arrested as He was. 
People We fear that we too may be rejected as He was.
Leader Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."
People Jesus comes and stands among us and says, "Peace be with you." 
Leader When He had said this, He breathed into them the Holy Spirit.
People As He says this to us, He breathes into us the Holy Spirit, and we can never be the same.
Leader The Lord is Risen!
People The Lord is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!
Hymn #159 - Lift High the Cross
Luke 23:52 - 24:3
Panis Angelicus
Apostles Creed
It's Easter, Charlie Brown
(with thanks and apologies to Charles M. Schulz)
Lucy brings in Charlie Brown.
Everyone else is generally talking quietly so we can hear Lucy and Charlie
You know, it's perfectly natural to be depressed at holiday times; lots of people are.
What you really need is involvement with other people.
You need a task that will let you focus on doing something, rather than sitting around being depressed.
Charlie Brown:
I suppose that makes sense, but what could I do? 
Well, we're putting on an Easter play.
We have everything except a director; why don't you be the director of our play? I mean we have Snoopy to play all the animal parts, like bunnies and chickens and stuff, we have Schroeder to play the music, we have Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Pigpen to pass out the candy and eggs; and I'm pretty sure Rod is going to be here to clean up all that plastic grass. (gives him the megaphone from a table)
Charlie Brown:
Why not?
(through megaphone) 
All right, everyone, listen up!
(they stop what they're doing and listen)
[Snoopy mocks everything he's doing from behind him]
We've got a play to put on, and not a lot of time to get ready.
We're going to have to work together to have any chance of putting on a good play .... 
(they all go back to what they were doing, Paul maybe plays the piano) 
... what are you doing?
Don't you want to do the play?
Why is he in charge?
He'll ruin the whole play.
We're doomed.
Et cetera 
Being the director is part of Charlie Brown's therapy.
He paid his nickel, and I'm going to make sure he's cured.
No one is going to say I didn't give my patient his nickel's worth, and this will help him to get over his depression at the holiday. 
Besides, he can't wreck the play too much - he's just the director, you know.
It's not like he'll be on-stage or anything important. 
I think we should all try to pitch in.
Charlie Brown is just trying to make our play better. 
Peppermint Patty:
Pigpen is right.
Let's all get going. Marcie, let's pass out this stuff; you take some of these eggs. 
Yes, sir. 
Peppermint Patty:
Easter is an excellent holiday, you know. 
Why, sir? 
Peppermint Patty:
Well, you get all that candy and stuff, but you don't have to go around the neighborhood in a costume! 
Right you are, sir. 
We always have a little Easter Tree at home. 
An Easter Tree? 
It's kind of like a stick with eggs and chicks hung on it and stuff.
Not so many presents, but usually there are Peeps. 
You don't eat the Peeps, do you?
We always have a lamb made of butter at Easter. 
I don't know, we just always do, I guess. 
Charlie Brown:
Hold it, hold it.
That can't be all there is to Easter, can it?
I mean, why would all the churches have special services if it's just about candy? If we're going to do a play about Easter, we need to know what Easter really is. What's it all about? 
Don't you know what Easter is, Charlie Brown?
We're just finishing up Holy Week.
It started back with Palm Sunday, then we had Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, ... 
Charlie Brown:
Good Friday?
Good Grief. 
Yes, Good Friday, now we're at Easter, the biggest day of the Christian calendar! 
Charlie Brown:
Well then, tell me the story - tell me how we got here.
OK, it's all right there in the Bible, Charlie Brown. 
Sunday School
That's right, Linus.
Listen to what it says in John Chapter 20.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 
Let me read some now:
Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.
OK - my turn:
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
I'll read some of it:
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." 
Let me finish it:
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Charlie Brown:
So that's what Easter is all about!
There weren't any bunnies or chicks or candy or any of that stuff; but it doesn't need any of those things.
Easter means that any of us who believe in Jesus - accept what He did for us - will come back alive too!
It's like He told Nicodemus, whoever believes in Him won't die, but will have eternal life. 
That's right, Charlie Brown.
Since Jesus is really alive, that means that He's really who He said He was; He's really God, so He was telling the truth about going to prepare a place for us. 
So, since Jesus lives, I do too.
Since Jesus is in Heaven, I will be too! 
That is so cool. 
Charlie Brown:
You know, when you told me that Easter was the biggest day of the Christian calendar, I thought you were crazy - I mean it's like you were ignoring Christmas or something, but now I see what you mean.
Sure Easter couldn't happen if there hadn't been a Christmas, but without Easter, Christmas wouldn't have been all that big a thing.
Wow, I never realized that Easter was so important! 
What a blockhead - everyone knows that Easter rocks!
I mean, it's like "Way to go, Jesus!" 
Way to go, Jesus! 
Charlie Brown:
(turns to the congregation)
The Lord is Risen! 
All + 
The Lord is Risen Indeed! 
Hymn #322 - Low In The Grave He Lay
Passing the Good News The Lord is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!
Closing / Benediction
And now, may Almighty God,
who through Jesus Christ overcame death
   and opened to us the gate of everlasting life,
grant that we,
   who celebrate the Day of our Lord's Resurrection,
may arise from the death of sin
to the life of righteousness.
Postlude Linus & Lucy - Vince Guaraldi Trio

Kid Peanuts Name
Brad Linus
Katie Sally
Christian Charlie Brown
Chris Pig Pen
Leah Peppermint Patty
Auston Snoopy
Jill Sunday School Teacher
Emily Marcie
Katy Lucy
Paul Schroeder

Last Update: 03 April 02