Easter Sunday 4 April 2021 St Paul’s: Sermon by Revd Dr Andrew Warmback

Greetings in Jesus’ name on this Easter morning!

Sermon: Revd Andrew Warmback

(Please note that over the next three months material will be available on Sabelo Mthimkhulu’s YouTube channel and not mine)

Services: We have resumed services on a Sunday at 7.30am and 9.15am.

Service Outline

EASTER VIGIL Service Outline- 4th APRIL 2021




HYMN: Jesus Christ is risen today CP 147

FIRST READING:  Genesis 2: 4-9


SECOND READING: Genesis 3: 1-19


THIRD READING: Genesis 22: 1-18


FOURTH READING: Exodus 14: 15-15 1a

FOR THE PSALM: From Exodus 15: 1b-6

FIFTH READING: Exodus 24: 3-8

PSALM: 111

SIXTH READING: Ezekiel 36: 22-28


THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST- Altar candles are lit.


THE COLLECT Almighty God, this night explodes with the radiance of the risen Christ:

set us ablaze with the power of your love

and propel us into the world to live and proclaim the gospel of the living Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen


GRADUAL HYMN: Ye choirs of new Jerusalem   CP 162

THE GOSPEL: Mark 16: 1-8




HYMN DURING SPRINKLING: Come, ye faithful, raise the anthem CP 409


OFFERTORY HYMN: Jerusalem, the golden   CP 482



RECESSIONAL HYMN: Thine be thy glory, risen, conquering Son CP 160

EASTER SUNDAY EUCHARIST Service Outline- 04/04/21

INTROIT: Jesus Christ is risen today   CP 147

COLLECT: Lord Jesus Christ

you transformed the tomb of death

into the womb of new life:

make us joyful witnesses of this good news

that all creation may redeemed,

restored and reconciled;

for you live and reign,

in the unity of the Blessed Trinity,

one God, in glory everlasting.



FIRST READING: Isaiah 25: 6-9

PSALM: 118: 1-2, 14-24

SECOND READING Acts 10: 34-43

GRADUAL: Ye choirs of new Jerusalem   CP 162

GOSPEL: Mark 16: 1-8





HYMN DURING SPRINKLING: Come, ye faithful, raise the anthem CP 409

OFFERTORY: Jerusalem the golden    CP 482


RECESSIONAL HYMN: Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son CP 160


Sermon: Revd Andrew Warmback 


What does the resurrection mean in this time of the ongoing pandemic?  What a year it has been since last Easter!

The resurrection stories are different in each gospel.  But they each share common elements.

Women as witnesses

Women are the first witnesses to the resurrection.

It seemed the women travelled with Jesus, certainly supporting his ministry, and it is suggested that they may have ministered to women along the way.  Like his other followers they would have been devastated by his death.

Mark’s story of the resurrection which we heard today is the earliest one.

Mary Magdalene went at dawn with Mary, Jesus’ mother and Salome to anoint the body of Jesus in the tomb.  It was a familiar Jewish ritual, and an act of love for Jesus.

On the way they wondered how they would roll the stone away. Why do we always call it is “stone”? It must have been more like a large rock. Anyway…

To their surprise when they arrive at the tomb it is not only open but empty too.  And an angelic-like person tells them that Jesus has been raised and is not there.


Imagine how shocked they were to see and hear this.  Certainly not at all what they were expecting.

So here is another common element in the resurrection stories, that of fear.

And the frequent and comforting response given on each occasion is “do not be afraid.”  Let these extraordinary events not alarm you.

Go and tell

To go and tell others also occurs in the other gospel accounts of the resurrection.

Today the three women are told to “tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”

The news did get out – being here today, celebrating Easter, we are proof of it: Jesus is risen, uKrestu uvukile.

We too are witnesses to the resurrection.   Through what we say and do we keep the story alive.


The Covid-19 pandemic, affecting the whole world, has touched us all.  With the trauma of separation, isolation, sickness and death we are left fearful.  Like the women at the tomb today we too are left with a sense of “terror and amazement.”

So what does the resurrection mean to us?


With the resurrection we do not forget the cross with the violence, agony and pain that Jesus suffered.  Neither does the resurrection lead us to forget nor do away with our own grief, and fear.

Rather, I believe, the resurrection can help us to face all that we are experiencing now.

The resurrection gives us power to act courageously and with compassion to do something about the struggles we and others are facing and to heal our world groaning under this pandemic.

The resurrection does not end suffering, but it enables us live more fully, to deal with our own loss and hurt and the societal injustice that has become so apparent over this past year.

The resurrection gives us hope to know that God is the God of life, who can bring new life out of suffering and death, who can roll away the stone of despair we are facing– a God who loves and cares for us and the world.

Let us share in the resurrection, participate in it. Let us celebrate and make real the resurrection today by engaging in the ministry of Jesus:  binding up the broken hearted, siding with and advocating for those who have been wronged in our society and left behind in the pandemic, breaking down the barriers that separate people from one another, driving out the demons that destroy people’s lives, families and livelihoods – doing all we can do to end the pandemic and the destruction it is causing.

Sabbatical leave

On a personal note, together with Alison I begin sabbatical leave tomorrow and will return to the church on 1 July.  I am grateful to the parish executive and the Vicar General of the diocese for supporting me in taking time out to rest, reflect, pray, read, write and prepare and refresh myself for on-going ministry.

Revd Sabelo will be Deacon-in-Charge during my absence.  He will be supported by the wardens.  Visiting clergy will assist with services as will Revd Martin Brower. I thank them.

I end with some words of St Paul, Ephesians 4:1b-5a as I appeal to you the members of the parish during these months ahead: “…lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism…..”  After all this is a sure sign of the resurrection life.

If you are a subscriber to this channel, in these next months please find the material on Sabelo Mthimkhulu’s YouTube Channel.

Happy Easter!


During this difficult time of the global pandemic, you are invited to make a contribution to the ministry and mission of our church by making a donation to the following account:   Account Name: St Paul’s Church      Account Number: 50854628623     Bank: First National Bank (FNB)     Branch Code: 221426