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3.29.2020 Worship for Sunday

Welcome to Vernes' worship communication. We hope it will help to keep our church family connected during this time when we are unable to gather in person. Please encourage members of our church family to text bltn temp2515 to 41411 to subscribe to our digital bulletin and receive this weekly. If you have a suggestion or an announcement for this weekly publication, please contact Kathy at 218-368-6374 or Diane at 218-280-8169 or Pastor Jill at 218-5562757. Quote for today: Tough times can't last. Tough people will last with an attitude of trusting God. He will give you more strength than you could ever imagine. - Justin McKee In today’s gospel Jesus reveals his power over death by raising Lazarus from the dead. The prophet Ezekiel prophesies God breathing new life into dry bones. To those in exile or living in the shadows of death, these stories proclaim God’s promise of resurrection. In baptism we die with Christ that we might also be raised with him to new life. As John tells it, Lazarus has been in the tomb four days by the time Jesus arrives. By then the whole village is awash in grief. When Jesus weeps too, they are amazed at his loving devotion: here is a strong sign of connection, a visible reminder that Jesus is truly present among human community, not above it. In the end, Jesus does what we could never imagine was even a remote possibility. He calls to the one entombed; he summons life, like the Spirit blowing over the valley in Ezekiel. God is up to something! Here, a sign of signs: God is making all things new. New life is emerging from the tombs of our world and from the shadowed corners of our hearts. May Jesus’ resurrecting power be felt deep in our own bones! CALL TO WORSHIP: PREPARE THE WAY by Paul Wilbur on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htfqqGnmdxM (Verse 1) We were born in the time of trial, We were born on a battlefield; We were born for a such a time as this, We were born for a true revival, We were born for a harvest field, We were born for a such a time as this. So let the earth shake, Let the stars fall, Let the mountains tremble, We are not afraid, Let the people, Let the faithful stand and say (Chorus) Prepare the way, He was ---Prepare the way, He is--Prepare the way, He is to come (Verse 2) This is the sound of the generation, This is the song of the Warrior King, We were born for such a time as this, He will return with the declaration, When He appear every eye will see ,We were born for a such a time as this! PRAYER OF THE DAY Precious Lord, we come to you today and thank you for living, dying, being the Resurrection and the Life for US! We believe we are living in resurrection life now but there is more to come. Today we lift our hearts, minds, souls, and arms raised high to receive a fresh infilling of your Holy Spirit! We love having you in our lives, in our hearts, in our minds, in our thoughts! Thank you for giving us the Peace which passes understanding that keeps our hearts & minds on Christ Jesus! “Christ in me, the Hope of Glory!” We pray this all in the Name of Jesus. Amen Vernes Lutheran Church March 29, 2020 page 2 of 6 FIRST LESSON: Ezekiel 37:1-14 Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a promise that Israel as a nation, though dead in exile, will live again in their land through God’s life-giving spirit. Three times Israel is assured that through this vision they will know that “I am the LORD.” 1The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.” 7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. 11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act, says the LORD.” Here ends the reading. PSALM: Psalm 130 With the LORD there is mercy and plenteous redemption. (Ps. 130:6-7) Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication. If you, LORD, were to note what is done amiss, O Lord, who could stand? For there is forgiveness with you; therefore, you shall be feared. I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him; in his word is my hope. My soul waits for the LORD, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, wait for the LORD, for with the LORD there is mercy; with him there is plenteous redemption, and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins. SECOND LESSON: Romans 8:1-11 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b]God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you. Here ends the reading. Vernes Lutheran Church March 29, 2020 page 3 of 6 GOSPEL: John 11:1-45 Jesus is moved to sorrow when his friend Lazarus falls ill and dies. Then, in a dramatic scene, he calls his friend out of the tomb and restores him to life. 1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” 28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. The Gospel of the Lord. Vernes Lutheran Church March 29, 2020 page 4 of 6 MESSAGE: LIFE IN THE SPIRIT Pastor Jill Torgerson Our text reveals that there are only two ways to live life. To walk in the Spirit is to be "in step" with the Spirit. Life in the Spirit means to follow His lead and remain in His control. It is life governed by the Spirit of God. This life is distinguished by the mind being set or focused on serving Christ. This individual’s desires are not selfishly controlled but are controlled by the will of Christ who lives in Him. If you are a believer, the Spirit is always in you for the purpose of lovingly leading you. If a person is not in step with the Spirit of God, he or she will be controlled by the flesh. These people live an existence which is dominated by sinful human nature whose focus and center of attention is self, whose life is lived to satisfy selfish desires. Those who live according to the Spirit aspire for or have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. To walk after the Spirit is to align or subject oneself to the Spirit. The man who walks after the Spirit cannot act independent of Him. He acts in accordance with the Holy Spirit. He may have many failures, but his basic orientation and uppermost concerns have to do with the things of the Spirit. The things of the Spirit are the things which the Spirit proposes and approves. We are involved in a real battle for the mind as verse 6 states, For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. As Christians, we are to be self-disciplined not only in our physical appetites but also in our thoughts. To lose the focus of our minds is to fall prey to the devil. Satan wants to control your mind, to have mindcontrol over you so he can brain-wash you to see life his way. He will use your thinking as his weapon to control you, defeat you (spiritually), and eventually devour you. If you don’t learn to control/master your thoughts, Satan will win the inner war. You must win the battle for your mind! But Lord---reality sets in! How often we fail in disciplining that vital part of life! Our thoughts begin to drift from the God centered life into worldly and forbidden areas, and we let them go. We become anxious, lustful, hateful. We think proudly. We give in to self-pity. Proverbs 23:7 says – "For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Your thought-life affects everything about you … how you act … how you feel … how you live. If you THINK negative thoughts … you will ACT in a negative way. If you THINK sad things … you will BE sad. If you THINK you’re sick … you will FEEL sick. If you THINK you’re worthless… you’ll TURN OUT to be worthless. If you THINK bad thoughts … you’ll DO bad things. BUT … on the other hand … If you THINK Godly things … you’ll ACT more Godly! If a person persists in being worldly, he is on the side of the world and must expect the world’s dooms. On the other hand, if the things concerning God and His kingdom are his chief concern, he can expect life: sweet communion with God. The light of God in the mind, God’s love poured out in the heart, and joy unspeakable and full of glory. All this and far, far more. He can expect peace which implies contentment, a sense of security, and an inner calm. Those that set their mind on the Spirit have the inner assurance that past sins are forgiven, that present events, no matter how painful, are being overruled for good, and that nothing that might occur in the future will be able to separate him from the love of God in Christ. Such peace means basic freedom from fear, anxiety and restlessness. The greatest blessings of Christ are granted to those who walk after the Spirit. The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace and this becomes our experience as we learn to walk in the Spirit. Isaiah 26:3 says, ‘You will keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.’ Did you realize that God can be pleased? Mankind was created for the expressed purpose of pleasing God. The Holy Spirit is the source of all that pleases God in man. A person who is NOT motivated or empowered by God even his best works are produced by his flesh for self-centered reasons and will never be seen by God as a work for God’s glory. I’ve been filled with the Spirit, but I have learned that I leak! I need to daily surrender to the Spirit’s will and leadership so that I can daily live in the power of the Spirit. Vernes Lutheran Church March 29, 2020 page 5 of 6 After speaking objectively about the two types of mind sets, Paul in verse 9 states: However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. A test of whether or not you have saving faith is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. You can be certain of your eternal salvation if the Spirit of God dwells in you. In verse 11 Paul wrote about an even better promise. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. It was the Holy Spirit who was the agent of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Just as the Spirit lifted Jesus out of physical death and gave Him life in His mortal body, so the Spirit who dwells in the believer, gives to that believer new life both now and forever. In other words, God promises spiritually empowered resurrection life now as we live in our mortal bodies. This resurrection also includes a transformation. The changing of our bodies into a new and glorious vehicle of our character and personality. WAIT! THERES MORE! The final resurrected body— experienced in Heaven-- which will be free of all bondage to sin, disease, pain, decay and frailty. It will be a perfect body fit for a perfected person living in a God’s perfect place. As you live day by day surrender to walking in the Spirit of the Living God and the hope of eternal life with God will shine brighter and brighter within your soul. It will give a peace and confidence that the world, the flesh and the devil can never take away. OFFERING During this time, it can be a strain on households, but please continue your giving as you are able. For now, send your offerings to Raymond Sundrud, Treasurer at: 35563 300th Street SE, Fosston, MN 56542. We are currently checking into being able to give via electronics. More to follow on this. Remember, even though the church is closed, our expenses continue to come in. Thank you for supporting the work of our church. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with your free Spirit. THE PRAYERS Turning our hearts to God who is gracious and merciful, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need. God of life bind your faithful people into one body. Enliven the church with your Spirit and bless the work of those who work for its renewal. Accomplish your work of salvation in us and through us, for the sake of the world. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great. God of life, you love the world you have made, and you grieve when creation suffers. Restore polluted lands and waterways. Heal areas of the world ravaged by storms, floods, wildfires, droughts, or other natural disasters. Bring all things to new life. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great. God of life show redemption to all who watch and wait with eager expectation: those longing for wars to cease, those waiting for immigration paperwork to finalize, those seeking election, and those in dire need of humanitarian relief. Come quickly with your hope. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great. God of life, you weep with those who grieve. Unbind all who are held captive by anxiety, despair, or pain. Fill us with compassion and empathy for those who struggle and keep us faithful in prayer. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great. God of life, we give thanks for opportunities for this congregation to collaborate with our community in caring for the needs of our neighbors. Strengthen our ties with other local congregations, agencies, and services. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great. Vernes Lutheran Church March 29, 2020 page 6 of 6

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