Bethel International United Methodist Church
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Youth Easter Sunrise Service

At the Easter sunrise service, our youth delivered a CALL TO ACTION. Zach read Matthew 28, as various youth interrupted him with personal reflections.  I found it moving and insightful, and I want to share it with you:


Matthew 28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.  The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, 

AJ  Whoa, wait…. This sounds like the women are listening to the angel!  Having to listen can be really difficult at times, especially when an angel is talking to you.  I can relate, because sometimes during school I don’t want to be listening to what my teachers are telling me…….. I know what my teachers are telling me is useful and will help me in the future.

 . . . for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.   

CALEB  Hold up Zach--the action I heard was to follow.  In the case of the scripture, I believe that they can trust the path the angel is telling them to follow.  In my life, I know I have not always been a good judge of who I should follow to make the right choice.  But now in my life, I have made a choice to try and follow the right path through my grandmother, my great church and youth group.

Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”  

KAIT  Hold on a sec, Zach!  The angel is saying the women need to speak the truth to the disciples.  Sometimes you can use your voice in different ways and for me, the best way to use my voice is to sing.  No matter how you use your voice, it can be scary because, what if no one listens or cares?  But God says to speak the good word, and so, I sing.

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 

MATTHEW The Marys sat outside Jesus’s tomb because they loved him so much.  They could not believe that he was dead, so they stayed near him.  This reminds me of my two dogs.  They always wait by the door for me to return each day.  They love me unconditionally just like God does. 

10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

  KRISTEN  Wait, hold on, Zach.  In the scripture it sounds like Jesus told the women to go and live their lives and teach his words, and they chose to react by listening to him and using their time on earth to spread his word.  I can relate because I have learned that you have to live every day for yourself and for God.  I’ve dealt with being close to my own death and knowing that tomorrow is not always guaranteed and you just have to live every day to your best and spread God’s word while doing it.

11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’  14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 

EMMA Slow down, Zach.  It sounds like some of the people doubted Jesus’ return, which stopped them from worshiping and spreading the good news.  Doubt can sometimes stop you from action--doubt in other people, or in my case, doubt in yourself.  But you can’t let that hold you back from doing what you are meant to do.  You must trust and have faith instead.

18 Then Jesus  

DYLAN  Can we just stop and think about how much more love and joy the Marys showed earlier when they believed?  Now think about your own life.  I’m not sure about you but for me when I have believed in something it has multiplied my passion for the matter.  Doubting just weights you down, clips your wings.  Have a little faith, BELIEVE.  Set yourself free.

came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 

LINDSAY I heard Jesus tell them to go.  I relate because I went on my first Belize mission trip in 7th grade.  I was told to go and experience new and different things.  Just like me, the disciples were told by Jesus to go even though some doubted and were unsure if they would see Him.  My experience was very moving and an amazing trip that I continued to go back every year and make a difference in the Belize community.

20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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