Preachers, if you are still working on Holy Week sermons and reflections, you’re in good company — we’re 11th hour pros here at RevGalBlogPals! Here’s our Holy Week lectionary post that you can check out and comment on as you prep for worship.

For Easter preachers working with the Revised Common Lectionary, you have a plethora of scripture available to you this Sunday for telling the resurrection news. Here’s an overview of the texts:

+ I might dub Matthew 28:1-10, “Do not be afraid of the metaphor.” An angel was like lightening, its clothes were white as snow, the guards were like dead men. The good news: do not fear that our understanding of resurrection is imperfect and indirect, but with awe and joy, go and tell that Jesus is with us!

+ John 20:1-18 tells a “Lost and Found” story: Mary and the other disciples run back and forth to the tomb with the distress of disrupted mourning because of Jesus’ lost body. Mary hopes she might find the body when talking to the gardener/Jesus, but she is the one who is found (so to speak) when Jesus says her name.

+ Acts 10:34-43 offers a timely word of hope in this violent and othering world of ours: “No Partiality.” The good news crosses all boundaries and divisions. In every nation there are those who do what is right, in every generation there are witnesses to life, in every season there are prophets and healers, and we are called to & by this same good news.

+ If you use Acts 10, you might incorporate the admonition of Colossians 3:1-4, “Set your mind on things that are above,” that is, on the work and wisdom of God in Christ, on the pursuit of peace, and on the proclamation of grace.

+ Jeremiah 31:1-6 is the swaddling blanket of this Easter’s RCL texts, the Soft Kitty to comfort early morning fears at the tomb, “The Relief of Resurrection”: There will be rest for those fleeing violence, home for those in the wilderness, joy for those who are mourning, harvest where land was once devastated, and God will be God to all the people together.

+ Should you be struggling this year for your own resurrection or frustrated in your search for “new” good news to preach this Easter, consider simply reading Psalm 118:1-2 & 14-24 for your homily — each verse is practically its own sermon! “The LORD did not give me over to death” and “This is the day that the LORD has made” and “God’s steadfast love endures forever.” If nothing else, say that last one over & over & over again: “God’s steadfast love endures forever.”

How are you preaching the Easter good news this Sunday? Which texts have caught your imagination and wonder? How would you articulate the message of Easter in one phrase?

Share your sermonizing ideas, your scriptural wonderings, your liturgical context, and more in the comments! And don’t miss the 11th Hour Preacher Party on Saturday where you can find colleagues sharing and discussing their last-minute Easter sermon prep.


Rachel G. Hackenberg is a United Church of Christ minister, soccer mom, blogger, and author. Her book Sacred Pause plays with words to refresh our relationship with The Word.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

6 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: Easter Sunday

  1. i had hoped to have a few services prepared before this week, but that didn’t happen.
    Wednesday afternoon and I am now working on Sunday’s service, not sure what to preach on, except it will be the resurrection story form Matthew. Last year for the “children’s talk” i did the plastic eggs with parts of the story in each one, and we pout them in order. This year i am thinking of making resurrection rolls, or tomb rolls – marshmallows covered in bread dough and baked, come out hollow. i am wondering if i can make one big enough for communion.

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  2. I’ve apparently never preached on the John text, so that’s what I’ve chosen. No idea what I”ll say about it. I find it difficult, almost impossible, to get going on the Easter sermon until after Jesus is in the tomb. In addition, I have a graveside service on Thursday that’s taking some brain space.

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    1. Oof. Nothing like a funeral during Holy Week to make the crucifixion/resurrection more tangible (and more exhausting for preaching pastors). I’m with you on struggling to write the good news before the “bad news” has been told & witnessed. Prayers for the days ahead!

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