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  • Pastor Jill

Easter Celebration Service: April 12, 2020

Easter Fanfare- click to view and listen

(seriously, who doesn't love a good fanfare with trumpets on Easter morning! turn up the volume as high as you can and enjoy the glory of this short fanfare!)

Hallelujah! Christ is Risen! This is the day the Lord has made!

Christ is risen, and through him all creation is made new! Indeed, “God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34): Christ’s resurrection truly brings life to everyone. We sing hymns of praise, gather around sacred words, and proclaim God’s faithfulness, power, and love in the feast of holy communion. With the women at the tomb, we are astonished, elated, and grateful. We depart with joy to proclaim the good news of God’s endless love.

Call to Worship

This is the day that the Lord has made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it!

The Lord is my strength and my song.

The Lord has become my salvation.

Open to me the gates of righteousness;

I will go through them and praise the Lord.

I shall not die, but live,

and declare the works of the Lord.

This is the day that the Lord has made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it!

(Psalm 118:14, 17, 19, 24)

Opening Hymn- Jesus Christ is Risen Today!

Click on this link to open the hymn video on YouTube:

1 Jesus Christ is ris'n today, Alleluia!

our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!

suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

2 Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!

unto Christ, our heav'nly king, Alleluia!

who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!

sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

3 But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!

our salvation have procured; Alleluia!

now above the sky he's king, Alleluia!

where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

4 Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!

praise eternal as his love; Alleluia!

praise him, all you heav'nly host, Alleluia!

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!

Text: Latin carol, 14th cent., sts. 1-3; tr. J. Walsh, Lyra Davidica, 1708, alt.; Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, st. 4

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, through your only Son you overcame death and opened for us the gate of everlasting life. Give us your continual help; put good desires into our minds and bring them to full effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Special Music: Easter Hallelujah

with Rudy, Cindy, Courtney & Sophie

The First Lesson: Acts 10:34-43 Gentiles Hear the Good News

Peter’s sermon, delivered at the home of Cornelius, a Roman army officer, is a summary of the essential message of Christianity: Everyone who believes in Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the words of the prophets, “receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm 16 You Will Not Abandon My Soul

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The Second Lesson: Colossians 3:1-4 Put On the New Self

Easter means new life for us as it first meant new life for Christ. His resurrection reshapes the entire focus and motivation for our lives since we are now hidden with the risen Christ in God.

If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

The Gospel: Matthew 28:1-10 The Resurrection

Sorrow gives way to “fear and great joy” when two women are sent by an angel to proclaim the good news: Jesus is risen!

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So, they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

Easter Sermon - Pastor Jill An Earth-Shattering Resurrection

Our youngest daughter Alyssa was a sleep-walker. All too often she would come into our room in the middle of the night with those funny eyes and fear riddled all over her—telling us-- “Mom! Someone snuck in our room” or “I saw a hibber jibber—yes, she didn’t make sense—this kid with an overactive imagination which didn’t even sleep at night!” I would go to her room, turn on the light, and together we would look around, under the bed, in the closet, behind the door. After a little while one of us would say, “There’s nothing here,” and she would climb back into bed knowing all is well, with usually no recollection of it in the morning! That is the Easter message. There’s nothing here! Not even a hibber jibber! Do not be afraid. All is well!

That story about our daughter is not just a story about a little kid. It’s the human story. It’s the story of life lived in fear of darkness and death—especially now as we are hunkering in during this virus pandemic. It is a story, I suspect, each of knows well. We fear for ourselves and we fear for those we love. Alyssa works for the VA and was just called to go to New York to help out…as the nursing staff is getting so tired and need fresh horses to help.

All I could think of was, “That is a hot bed for the virus & our girl will be working in ER! NO Lord!” Fortunately, her orders were changed to Fargo so that consoled us somewhat. But deep emotions engulfed us. We are overwhelmed with the sickness and deaths of all the others from this virus—but when it comes to our kids being sent into danger zones—the lion & tiger in us comes out fast. Yet, I quickly was reminded that the very faith I tell others about was about to be challenged in me. “Check and see if he’s there, Mom.”

Think of us being in the place of the disciples, or the Mary’s, ---who go to see the tomb—to see if he’s there. They know it should be! They saw it all. They watched the crucifixion. They saw Jesus die. They saw Joseph take Jesus’ body, wrap it in a cloth, and put it in the tomb. They saw him roll a great stone to the door of the tomb. They were there, sitting opposite the tomb. They know what to expect as they go to the tomb. Death, fear, pain, loss, sorrow. A tortured body beginning to decay.

But a new sunrise and the big bang of a great earthquake signal the dawn of a new creation; one in which death no longer rules. God, not death, will have the first, the final, and every word in between.

“Do not be afraid,” the angel announces. “He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.” The empty tomb proclaims that all is well. “Go quickly,” the angel tells them, “you will see Jesus.”

This is the Church’s story. It is the same old story told every year. Some of you have heard this story only a few times. Others have heard it many times. The story never changes. Instead, it changes us. Each year we gather to hear this story for only one reason: so that we can leave; so that we can leave the darkness and scary hibber -jibbers of our lives and live. We want to be reminded, “There is nothing here. Do not be afraid. All is well.”

Too often we think resurrection is about what happens to us after we die. We limit resurrection to nothing more than a promise of life after death. The power and gift of resurrection are not so much in what happens after death but right here, now, today. Perhaps we should worry less about whether there is life after death and more about whether there is life before death.

The joy of Easter is not only that God has raised Christ from the dead. Easter joy is also about the possibility and the promise that, regardless of what our lives are like now, new life is available to each one of us here and now. God has raised Christ from the dead and we are now free to claim his life as our own.

What matters most about Easter is not the empty tomb but what we do tomorrow, the day after, and the day after that. How will we now live differently? Jesus did not die and rise again so that we might continue life as usual. If this new life and freedom do not change us we might as well put the stone back over the tomb. If we leave today and don’t think about Easter again until next year, then we’ve entirely missed the gift. Our lives are the evidence of resurrection, or not.

We are no longer prisoners to the power or fear of sin, darkness, disease and death. We don’t have to be worried about how all of this is going to turn out. Life is eternal. Love is immortal. We are free to live. We are free to love. The end of the resurrection story is the beginning of our life. Christ is risen. So, live fully alive now. Why wait until after death? Darkness has become light. Sin has been forgiven. The tomb has become the womb of new creation. There is no more death. Life is everywhere.

“Go quickly,” the angel tells us. There’s nothing here. Run for your life! Christ is risen. You will see him!

Hymn of the Day - Low In the Grave He Lay

1 Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,

waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord.


Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;

he arose a victor over death’s domain, and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

2 Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior;

vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord. Refrain

3 Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;

he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord. Refrain

Text: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

The Prayers

Uplifted by the promised hope of healing and resurrection, we join the people of God in all times and places in praying for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

A brief silence.

God of resurrection, from the very beginning you give the church the gift of women as your witnesses: as preachers, teachers, and leaders (especially those we name in our hearts...). Open our ears to their proclamation this day and always. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

All your creation praises you—the earth hums, the seas pulse, the stars shine, and the galaxies whirl in glorious harmonies to honor you. Let us hear and blend our voices in the song. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

The countries of the world experience disunity and conflict; we set our minds on fear and greed rather than on your rule of justice and steadfast love. Build up all countries on your cornerstone of peace. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

We still weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn. Cradle the fearful, the suffering, and the dying, assuring them of your loving presence (especially those we name in our hearts...). Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Risen Lord, you went ahead of us into the grave and defeated the powers of evil. We remember those who have died (especially those we name in our hearts...). Inspire us to live our lives in this resurrection hope and draw us to you in our final days. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

With bold confidence in your love, almighty God, we place all for whom we pray into your eternal care; through Christ our Lord.


Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those

who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.



The offering is received as the Lord’s table is prepared.

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.


Let us now confess our sins & receive forgiveness. (In Bold is Congregation response.)

Pastor: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins & cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

JOIN ME: Most merciful God,

we confess that, without Christ, we are in bondage to sin & cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen

Pastor: In the mercy of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for you, & for His sake God forgives you all your sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ He gives the power to become the children of God & bestows on them the Holy Spirit. C: Amen

The Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit & born of the virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, The holy Christian church, The communion of saints, The forgiveness of sins, The resurrection of the body, And the life everlasting.


Words of Institution

P: In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, & gave thanks; broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this in remembrance of me.

Receive the elements.

partake of wine or juice and also the bread at this time.

After all have communed, say:

The body and blood of our Lord Jesus strengthen you and keep you in His grace.


Let us pray.

We give you thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life; and we pray that in your mercy you would strengthen us, through this gift, in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Silence for reflection.

Charge to the People

Beloved in the Lord, God has shown you what is good.

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?


The minister blesses the congregation.

Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.


Sending - Hymn I Will Rise

Verse 1 There's a peace I've come to know, Though my heart and flesh may fail There's an anchor for my soul, I can say it is well Pre-Chorus Jesus has overcome, And the grave is overwhelmed The victory is won, He is risen from the dead Chorus (And) I will rise when He calls my name, No more sorrow no more pain I will rise on eagle's wings, Before my God fall on my knees And rise I will rise (I will rise) Verse 2 There's a day that's drawing near, When this darkness breaks to light And the shadows disappear, And my faith shall be my eyes Bridge And I hear the voice of many angels sing, Worthy is the Lamb And I hear the cry of ev'ry longing heart, Worthy is the Lamb (REPEAT) Worthy is the Lamb

CCLI Song # 5183450 Chris Tomlin | Jesse Reeves | Louie Giglio | Matt Maher © 2008 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Vamos Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) For use solely with the SongSelect®. Terms of Use. All rights reserved. CCLI License # 11430998


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

From Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Processional- Happy Easter, everybody! It's a glorious day!

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