Planning for the Second Sunday of Easter

Posted by Andrew R. Jones on Feb 26, 2018 7:45:00 AM

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Learn more about the readings, music, and worship-service planning helps for the Second Sunday of Easter (April 8, 2018).

Season & Preparations

Christ is risen! After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His followers for a period of forty days. The season of Easter continues as it focuses on those appearances. Throughout the season of Easter, we continue to celebrate Christ’s resurrected presence among His people.

The color remains white (highlighted with gold if you like) and the paschal candle should continue to be lit until Ascension.

The season of Easter utilizes readings from the Book of Acts rather than the typical Old Testament Readings. As you prepare your bulletins, worship folders, or slideshows, be sure to mark the readings from Acts as "First Reading.” 

Also, note that the Sundays of the Easter season use the preposition “of” (for example, “Second Sunday of Easter” rather than “Second Sunday in Lent” or “Second Sunday after Pentecost”).

Readings & Theme

View the readings on Lutheran Calendar >

As noted above, the Book of Acts is featured through the Easter season, though not in chronological order. The reading for Easter 2 is from Acts 4, which records this beautiful line in verse 33 regarding the continued impact of Easter: “And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.”

For the Epistle, the Sundays of Easter march through 1 John. This week’s reading is from chapters 1 and 2. John proclaims the Easter news to his audience and to us as he writes in chapter 1, verse 3, “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” What John and the apostles saw, heard, and proclaimed was the risen Christ.

The Gospel for Easter 2, from John 20, includes Jesus’ appearance to ten of His disciples on Easter evening, His appearance to Thomas eight days later, and the purpose of John’s book: “So that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (v. 31). Thomas is often used as an iconic example of how not to respond to the news of Christ’s resurrection. Do not forget Thomas’s confession, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28). That is certainly a great way to respond to the resurrected Christ!

Hymns & Music

The Hymn of the Day for the Second Sunday of Easter is “O Sons and Daughters of the King” (LSB 470/471). Note the two tune choices for this hymn. Your congregation may be more familiar with one than the other. Stanzas 3–8 bring out the Gospel for today.

Other hymns to consider include “These Things Did Thomas Count as Real” (LSB 472), “Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia” (LSB 466), and “Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain” (LSB 487).

Additional Resources for Worship & Study

For teaching stories from the Easter season to children, consider using the Arch Books Jesus Christ Is Risen Today! and The Story of the Empty Tomb. If you plan to work through 1 John for a sermon series or Bible study during the Easter season, I highly recommend Bruce Schuchard’s Concordia Commentary: 1–3 John.


Looking for additional information on planning for the Second Sunday of Easter? Download our planning sheet to help you get started!

Download Planning Sheet

 

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Tags: Easter Season, Service Planning