2018-19 RCL-C Easter Sunday

Additional Resources for Proclamation & Preaching

Easter Sunday (Day): April 21, 2019 • Gospel Text: John 20:1-18

Easter According to John

John by Makoto Fujimura

John by Makoto Fujimura

Proclamation for Today

by Rev. Dr. Clint Schnekloth

This year the gospel for Easter is John—for the entire seven weeks. So let’s consider the Easter sermon as an opportunity to set up an entire series on the meaning of resurrection and new life in Christ in John.

Admittedly, preaching on John is different from preaching on the other gospels. It is more theological, for one. Also, more repetitive, abstract, spiritual. We could use other words. But bottom line, sometimes it is more difficult to discover a hook that distinguishes one passage in John from another in quite the same way we might easily distinguish stories or parables from another gospel.

The gospel for Easter Sunday is less like this than the passages that will follow on subsequent Sundays. Preaching the resurrection from the gospel of John offers all kinds of unique directions that are rich and fruitful. In particular, the dramatic action weaving together the disciples race to the tomb, followed immediately by Mary’s misrecognition of the person of Jesus, inspires those still startled Easter morning with the core Christian insight that so much of recognizing new life, recognizing others, has to do with simply seeing what is there—an empty tomb, the risen Lord, the holy human face of the neighbor.

For this Easter season, consider pairing the seven lessons with the seven spiritual works of mercy, and use the Easter morning sermon to review the seven spiritual works, all of which find their way into the resurrection account. John 20:1-18 includes comforting of the sorrowful, counseling of the doubtful, admonishment, instruction, one who has born wrongs patiently and forgiven offenses willingly, and who prayed on the cross before his death and intercedes always before the Father for us.

The pairings would look like this, in order to offer a seven week series on the spiritual works of mercy connected to the gospel of John.

Gospel Theme Work of mercy

John 20:1-18 Resurrection and empty tomb Comfort the sorrowful

John 20:19-31 Upper room and Thomas Counsel the doubtful

John 21:1-19 Fishing, then feed my sheep. Admonish the sinner

John 10:22-30 Sheep know my voice Instruct the ignorant

John 13:31-35 Love one another Bear wrongs patiently

John 14:23-29 Peace, sending spirit, home Forgive offenses willingly

John 17:20-26 Prayer for unity and shared life Pray for the living and the dead

The following links and resources are not produced or maintained by RCL Worship Resources or Clergy Stuff. However, at the time of this posting, the links were active and considered to be good source material for proclamation for the text for this week. Please scroll down or click on the quick jump menu you find below. Click here for more free RCL worship resources & planning materials.

  1. Historical Exegetical Resources

  2. Contemporary Resources

  3. Video & Other Resources

  4. RCL Daily Devotional

  5. Worship Trends

  6. Free Dramatic Reading of the RCL Text


Historical Exegetical Resources

Mary Magdalene at the Sepulchre, Meister Eckhardt, c. 1300.

From the Geneva Notes (Quote see below)

The Weeping Mary at the Sepulchre, Samuel Rutherford, 1640

The Gospel According to Peter (Pseudopigrapha)

Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius of Caesarea VII.25

The People's New Testament, B.W. Johnson, 1891


Contemporary Resources

Quotable Quote RCL Image (copyright 2018)
Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John, are the first witnesses of the resurrection, and these cannot justly be suspected, for they themselves could hardly be persuaded of it; therefore, they would obviously not invent such a story on purpose.
— Geneva Notes
Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.
— N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
Oh what a wonderful soul so bright inside you. Got power to heal the sun’s broken heart, power to restore the moon’s vision too.
— Aberjhani, Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player
Food For Thought Image RCL (copyright 2018)

Commentary, John 20:1-18, Barbara Lundblad, Preaching This Week,WorkingPreacher.org, 2016

The Center for Excellence in Preaching, resources from Calvin Theological Seminary

"Footraces and Kerygma," Eric Smith, LECTIO, 2015

"Which Jesus Do You Want to Raise This Easter?" Russell Rathbun, Question the Text, 2014

"Chance the gardener and Jesus the non-gardener," D Mark Davis, Left Behind and Loving It, 2012

“The Meaning of Mary Magdalene”

Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity


Music and Hymns

Music note icon cc0.


Video Resources

Additional Hymns & Praise Music



Free Current RCL Daily Devotional


More Reading For You


Current RCL Worship Trends


Dramatic Reading of the Text

Readers: Narrator, Mary, Angels, Jesus

Narrator: Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them,

Mary: “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

Narrator: Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her,

Angels: “Woman, why are you weeping?”

Narrator: She said to them,

Mary: “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”

Narrator: When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her,

Jesus: “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”

Narrator: Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him,

Mary: “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

Narrator: Jesus said to her,

Jesus: “Mary!”

Narrator: She turned and said to him in Hebrew,

Mary: “Rabbouni!”

Narrator: (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her,

Jesus: “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Narrator: Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,

Mary: “I have seen the Lord”;

Narrator: and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Pronunciation Guide

Rabbouni: ra-BOHN-ee