Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toledo, Ohio

A congregation of the Northwestern Ohio Synod

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday/The Resurrection of Our Lord

Introduction & Welcome

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death,” Paul writes. Today Christ is risen, and we gather together with astonishment and joy. Christ is risen, and we have been set free from the bonds of death. Christ is risen, and we are forgiven. Christ is risen, and with the women at the tomb and Peter, we are amazed. Let us rejoice: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Thanksgiving for Baptism

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

In the waters of baptism,

we have passed over from death to life with Jesus Christ,

and we are a new creation.

For this saving mystery, and for this water, let us bless God,

who was, who is, and who is to come.

We thank you, God, for your river of life,

flowing freely from your throne:

through the earth,

through the city,

through every living thing.

You rescued Noah and his family from the flood;

You opened wide the sea for the Israelites.

Now in these waters you flood us with mercy,

and our sin is drowned forever.

You open the gate of righteousness

and we pass safely through.

In Jesus Christ, you calm and trouble the waters.

You nourish us and enclose us in safety.

You call us forth and send us out.

In lush and barren places, you are with us.

You have become our salvation.

Now breathe upon this water

and awaken your church once more.

Claim us again as your beloved and holy people.

Quench our thirst; cleanse our hearts; wipe away every tear.

To you, our Beginning and our End,

our Shepherd and Lamb,

be honor, glory, praise, and thanksgiving,

now and forever.


Prayer of the Day

God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


First Reading: Acts 10:34-43

Peter’s sermon, delivered at the home of Cornelius, a Roman army officer, is a summary of the essential message of Christianity: Everyone who believes in Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the words of the prophets, receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

34Peter began to speak to [the people]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)

1Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good;
God’s mercy endures forever.
2Let Israel now declare,
“God’s mercy endures forever.”
14The Lord is my strength and my song,
and has become my salvation.
15Shouts of rejoicing and salvation echo in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly!
16The right hand of the Lord is exalted!
The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly!”
17I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the Lord. 
18The Lord indeed punished me sorely,
but did not hand me over to death.
19Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter them and give thanks to the Lord.
20“This is the gate of the Lord;
here the righteous may enter.”
21I give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and you have become my salvation. 
22The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
23By the Lord has this been done;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26

Paul describes the consequences of the resurrection, including the promise of new life in Christ to a world that has been in bondage to death. He celebrates the destruction of evil and the establishment of God’s victorious rule over all.

19If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 21For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed.* Therefore, let us keep the feast. Alleluia (1 Cor. 5:7, 8)

Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

Evidently expecting to find Jesus’ corpse, some of the women among his followers go to the tomb with embalming spices. After a perplexing encounter with the empty tomb and angelic visitors, the women become the first to proclaim the amazing news of resurrection.

1On the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Meditation by David O’Brien

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

I’ve always found it interesting that the first people to learn of Jesus Christ’s resurrection were the women of the group. Of course, they were there to do a job. In that time, as it often is now, a lot of the practicalities of life, and death, were left for the women to attend to. So the female followers of Jesus were the ones going to the tomb, with the necessary spices, in order to anoint Christ’s body for a proper Jewish burial. They fully expected to find Him there, just as deceased as He was the Friday before.

I have to wonder what they were thinking on their way to Christ’s tomb. Did they remember any of His prophecies about how He would be killed and then rise from the dead? Maybe they were discussing the details of the job they had before them. Did they think about how they were going to gain access to His tomb, being as a heavy stone had been placed in front of the entrance? They probably wouldn’t be able to roll the stone aside themselves, so who would do it for them?

What a shock it must have been to find the stone already rolled off to the side. Had I been with them, I might have been tempted to think that someone else was already there, perhaps the Pharisees, or the Romans, desecrating Christ’s tomb. I would have approached the tomb with great caution, fearing what the people that might be there would do to me. But they go in anyway and find …. nothing! Christ’s body is gone! In that instant, did they think that someone had stolen His body? I’m not sure they had time to think, because almost immediately, two men appeared in dazzling clothing, who asked them why they were looking for the living among the dead. The men reminded the women about Jesus, telling them that He would have to suffer and die and then rise on the third day. Then they remembered and ran to tell the men of their group, the disciples. The men, however, didn’t believe them. Maybe they thought these women were hysterical with their grief, or perhaps that they were making up stories. The bottom line is that they were in doubt (remember this for next week). Peter was the only one who was willing to at least go and see if what the women were saying had any merit to it.

When faced with loss, we often forget important things. The loss of a job can often be devastating, and we can forget all of the great things we’ve done to that point, all of our qualifications for employment, and let our insecurities and self-doubt paralyze us when we need to be confident in our abilities and get back into the job market. Loss of a relationship can also cause us a lot of distress. We can forget that we are worthy of being loved by another and sink into a depression. Loss of a loved one to death is probably the worst loss anyone can suffer. It would be easy for us to forget about God’s promise of life eternal after death and simply think of that person as gone. But Christ has redeemed us, through His death and resurrection, and He has promised that we will be with Him in heaven. That includes the loved ones we’ve lost to death. If they will be with Christ in heaven, and we will also, that means we will all be together again.

The loss that the disciples had suffered must have been devastating. So it’s easy to imagine that they would forget about Christ’s promise to rise again on the third day. After all, they just watched Him suffer terribly and die a very painful death. In a very short time, their doubts will be defeated when Christ comes among them and then sends them to share the good news of His death and resurrection with the entire world! And now it’s our turn to go and tell the world that Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! And now the world has hope for life eternal because of His grace!

Have a happy and blessed Easter Season!

Prayers of Intercession

On this day of resurrection joy, let us offer our prayers for ourselves, our neighbors, and our world.

A brief silence.

Renewing God, the good news of your resurrection changed the world. Give church leaders, such as Daniel and Elizabeth, our bishops, and Howard, our pastor, and all the baptized the same excitement as the women at the tomb, and inspire us to share your abundant life. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Sustaining God, your creation abounds with signs of new life in budding trees and newborn creatures. Provide fertile soil, ample sunlight, and nourishing rain for the growth of plants, and provide farmers with a plentiful harvest. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Sheltering God, strengthen and sustain all who support vulnerable people across the world, especially those fleeing war, as in Ukraine, or oppression, be it political or economic, in all parts of the world. Empower government agencies and international organizations that provide for refugees and migrants forced to leave their homelands. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Encouraging God, you do a new thing among us. We pray for those gripped by fear and anxiety or who suffer in any way, especially the people we remember on our prayer list and prayer board. Send us as your healing presence to places of hunger, pain, illness, or overwhelming sorrow. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Surprising God, you offer endless ways for us to delight in your grace. Give this community of faith a sense of joy and wonder in exploring new avenues of faith formation, worship, and discipleship. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Resurrecting God, you make us alive in Christ. Thank you for blessing us with faithful witnesses who now rest in you. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

We offer to you these petitions and those we carry in our hearts, trusting in your abundant and ever-present mercy.


Together, let us profess our faith using the words of the Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.* On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.


And now, as our Savior, Christ is teaching us, we boldly pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.



God, the Author of life,

Christ, the living Cornerstone,

and the life-giving Spirit of adoption,

☩ bless you now and forever.



Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Go in peace. Tell what God has done.

Thanks be to God.